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For Reference 

Do Not Take 

From the Library 

Every person who maliciously 
cuts, defaces, breaks or irt|ures 
any book, map, chart, picture, 
engraving, statue, coin, model, 
apparatus, or other work of lit- 
erature, art, mechanics or ob- 
ject of curiosity, deposited in 
any public library, gallery, 
museum or collection is guilty 
of a misdemeanor. 

P»nal Code of California 
1915. Section 623 


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198 BED. BURBS, AND BEYOND They're the stars of 
TV's hottest new show. So why aren't the leading ladies 
of ABC's Desperate Housewives happy? Ned Zeman 
ventures onto the Universal back lot— where rumors star 
egos clash, and publicists watch every move— to 
confront the real-life drama that threatens America's firs 
postmodern evening soap. Photographs by 
Mark Seliger. 

206 THE LAST ON ASS IS With the support of her 

dashing Brazilian fiance, Athina Onassis Roussel has 
escaped her father's shadow and taken control of 
her fortune. Nicholas Gage reports on the struggle of 
the "richest little girl in the world" to win back her 
full legacy as Aristotle Onassis's granddaughter and sole 
surviving heir. 

for Bush disagreed with his policies— they simply didn't 
know it. In an epilogue to the paperback edition of 
his book Crimes Against Nature, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 
reveals how the media betrayed the American people. 
Photograph by Art Streiber. 

216 PETRA'S STORY Petra Nemcova and her boyfriend, 
photographer Simon Atlee, were on a romantic 
getaway in Thailand when the tsunami hit, engulfing their 
bungalow and smashing their dreams of a future together 
In Prague. Leslie Bennetts hears about the Czech 
supermodel's miraculous survival, her grief at losing her 
love, and the meaning she found in that mass, and deeply 
individual, tragedy. Photographs by Patrick Demarchelier. 

222 PROUD HARVEST The late Jackie Robinson forged 

his civil-rights legend on the baseball diamond. At 53. his 
son David is fighting injustice, too, on a different 
continent and in a different arena. Visiting Robinson at 
Sweet Unity Farms, his coffee plantation, in Tanzania. 
Brett Martin discovers the way one generation's challenge 
inspired— and changed— the next. Photographs by 
Jonas Karlsson. 


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THE GOOD LIFE AQUATIC Sell the mansions 
and take to the sea. The luxury of luxuries is a super-ya 
toy of choice for size-conscious tycoons. Aboard the 
world's biggest, most extravagant, and most technologici 
tricked-out floating palaces, Mark Seal learns that 
if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Photographs by 
Todd Eberle and Fernando Bengoechea. 

A N F A I R 


Red, white, and blue— Cornelia Guest takes it off in 
Harry Benson's America. Elissa Schappell on May must-re 
and Sue Carswell's Faded Pictures from My Backyard. 
Matt Tyrnauer visits Mexico City's Condesa DF hotel; 
Krista Smith drops in on T-shirt king James Perse. 
Lisa Robinson's Hot Tracks. Amy Sacco opens Bene: 
A. M. Homes on Elaine Sturtevant's Warhol-inspired 
exhibition. Bruce Handy does the Kung Fu Hustle: Ander 
Tepper on The Longest Yard; Patricia Bosworth gets 
behind Haskell Wexler's lens. Frank DiGiacomo groove 
to Feist's sultry sound; Katie Sharer sheds some light on 
John Wigmore: David Margolick remembers sportswri 
Shirley Povich. Dany Levy mixes with Audiostiles; Brian 
Raftery samples the Austin band Spoon; John Singleto 
favorite downloads. My Stuff: Tory Burch; Christine 
Muhlke dabs on Red Flower scents; Hot Looks. 


WIT'S END The comatose state of stand-up comedy 
was brought into high relief by the death of Johnny Carsoi 
who broke in a generation of comics on The Tonight 
Show. Hacking through the kudzu of cheesy clubs and 
self-referential routines, James Wolcott can't find the edg 
of laughter. Photo illustrations by John Corbitt. 

month, Dominick Dunne soaks up the starlight at I'.F.'s 
Oscar party, and holds court at a signing of Oscar Night. 
Then, even as he attends closing arguments in the Rober 
Blake trial, the diarist finds himself a character in anothe 
tantalizing— if fictional— murder case, on Law & Order: 
Trial by Jury: Photograph by Larry Fink. 

130 HALL OF FAME Christopher Hitchens nominates 

Tfie Nation's Victor Navasky. undiminished beacon of tht 
left— and warm, fuzzy hero to small opinion journals 
everywhere. Photograph by Arnold New man. 







TTLciy, 2005 


132 BAD MEDICINE Hold that pill! Most U.S. prescrij 
drugs pass through a gray market of under-regulatedj 
"secondary wholesalers," some of whom dilute, misll 
and mishandle vital medication. In an excerpt from 11 
forthcoming book, Dangerous Doses: How Counterfe\ 
Are Contaminating America's Drug Supply, Katherine 
Eban follows a ragtag band of Florida investigators ' 
brought down one of the worst alleged traffickers. 
Photograph by Jason Schmidt. 

146 THE HOT ZONE The Webcam cov| 
red-carpet arrivals at V.F.'s 12th annual Oscar party, 
but Michael Hogan and a team of photographers hav| 
the scoop from inside, where Swank and Blanchett 
wowed, Cruise and Cruz reconnected, and Hilton anc 
Simpson air-kissed. 

158 ABSENT HEARTS Roughly one in three students at | 
Colorado's Fountain-Fort Carson High School has 
a parent on active duty in the military, with heartbreal| 
effects in the classroom— and on the gridiron. As the 
school's 2004 football season wound down, Buzz 
Bissinger got to know three families for whom the war j 
has come home. Photographs by Kurt Markus. 

174 A JAZZ AGE AUTOPSY Holding the hidden rein; 
of power in the fearsome, thriving metropolis that 
was 1920s New York, Arnold Rothstein— gambler, fixe: 
and heroin-trade financier— made his own laws. 
Nick Tosches resurrects the dynamic figure whose 
unsolved 1928 murder ended an era. 


193 DANIEL'S BOON The world as a series of sets and 
subsets, by Henry Alford; What They Were Thinkinj 
by Brian Frazer. K/vThe Missing Years— staff archivist 
David Kamp unearths another lost issue. 


54 EDITOR'S LETTER A Saint, More than Less 


66 LETTERS Everything I Need to Know I Learned at 

110 PLANETARIUM Taurus trap 





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Let them have their issues and concerns. 

Let them have their meetings. And their meetings about the meetings. 
Let them have their naysayers. 

But don't let th 



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On October 16, 2004, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson hosted an intimate dinner at their home in honor of the late actor and 
Motion Picture & Television Fund benefactor Roddy McDowall. Attended by nearly 100 guests, including Diane Lane, Jake Gyllenhaal, 
Kirsten Dunst, Laura Dem, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the event celebrated McDowall 's unwavering commitment to the 
MPTF, an 84-year-old nonprofit organization that offers a safety net of services for those in need within the entertainment industry. 




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receive a fabuious new look for your eyes with a complimentary 
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On Friday, February 18, and Saturday, February 19, 2005, Vanity Fair 
and Aveda hosted a "Silver Screen Makeovers" event at the Aveda 
Experience Center at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. The 
two-day event featured Aveda's Global Makeup Artist to the Stars, 
Rudy Miles, who was on hand with his team to give guests silver 
screen-inspired looks. In addition to the makeovers, attendees 
entered to beautifully framed, vintage -inspired Vanity Fair covers. 


The Coach Gallery Interchangeable Watch 








Managing Editor CHRIS GARRFTT 

Design Director DAVID HARRIS 

Executive Literary Editor WAYNE LAWSON 

Features Editor JANE SARKIN 


Editor-at-Large MATT TYRNAUER 

Legal Affairs Editor ROBERT WALSH " 

Associate Managing Editor ELLEN KJELL 

Photography Director SUSAN WHITE 


Director of Special Projects SARA MARKS 

Copy Editor PETER DE\TNE Research Editor JOHN BANTA 

London Editor HENRY PORTER West Coast Editor KRISTA SMITH 


Writer-at-Large MARIE BRENNER 

Photography Editor LISA BERMAN Art Director JULIE WEISS 


Photography Research Director JEANN1E RHODES 

Deputy Art Director CHRIS MUELLER Associate Editor HEATHER HALBERSTADT 


Beauty and Photography Editor SUNHEE C. GRINNELL 

Associate Copy Editor DA\1D FENNER Deputy Research Editor MARY FLYNN 

Associate Legal Affairs Editor NATASHA STOVALL 





Senior Photography Producer KATHRYN MacLEOD Senior Associate Photo Editor SARAH CZELADN1CKI 

Senior Photo Research Editor ANN SCHNEIDER Photo Research Editor KATHERINE BANG Photojournalism Editor ROSANNA SGUERA 

Editorial Business Manager DORI AMARITO 
Assistant to the Editor MEG NOLAN Senior Editorial Coordinator CAROLYN BIELFELDT 

Senior Fashion Editor MARY F BRAEUNIG Fashion Editor CHRISTINE HAHN 

Editorial Promotions Associate EVA MAOLT Associate Fashion Editor ALIA AHMED-YAHIA 


Senior Art Production Manager CHRISTOPHER GEORGE Copy Production Manager ANDERSON TEPPER 

Production Associates LESLIE HERTZOG SARAH HAYNES Assistant Copy Editor ADAM NADLER 

Associate Photo Editor SASHA ERWITT Assistant Photo Editor LAN BASCETTA Assistant Editors FRED TURNER. LD4DSAY BUCHA 




Associate Editorial Business Manager EILISH MORLEY Photo Associate JESSICA DIMSON 

Photo Department Coordinator ALEXA HELSELL Photo Assistant JESSICA CHATF1ELD 

Editor, Creative Development DA\TD FRIEND 

Contributing Editors 











Contributing Photographers 






Contributing Editor (Los Angeles) WENDY STARK MORRISSEY 

Contributing Stylists KIM MEEHAN SARAJANE HOARE Contributing Fashion and Jewelry Editor ALEXIS BRYAN 

Contributing Photography Producers RON BEINNER. RICHARD V1LLANI 

Contributing Photography Associate TARAH KENNEDY Contributing U.K. Coordinator CARL GERMANN 

Contributing Production Associate SUSAN M RASCO Contributing Credits Editor LESLIE ALEXANDER 

Executive Director of Public Relations BETH KSENIAK 

Deputy Director of Public Relations SARA SWITZER 

Assistont ELIZABETH HI RLBUT Contributing Associate DARRYL BRANTLEY 

Editorial Director THOMAS J. WALLACE 

VAN; wwwvonityfaircom MAY 2 





P The Address. 





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1 BUR] 





Vice Presiden t and Publisher LO UIS CONA 

Associate Publisher, Creative Services and Marketing HOPE HENING 

Associate Publisher PAUL JOWDY 

Advertising Director MARC BERGER 

Executive Director, Creative Services JA.NTNE SILVERA 

Executive Marketing Director DAMELLA WELLS 

Business Director MARC LEYER Finance Director JUDY SAFIR 

Executive Beauty Director LUCILLE DURAN. 

International Fashion Director MARIA EL1ASON 

Fashion and Retail Director PAULA FORTGANG 

Fashion Director EMILY DAVIS 

Jewelry and Watch Director ALAT1A BRADLEY 

Entertainment, Automotive, and Southeast Director JAMIE FRIEDMAN 

New England and Spirits Manager KATHRYN BANINO 

Financial and Technology Manager ANDREW S PEDERSEN 

Marketing Director ERIC A KARP Marketing Manager LIZ HODGES 

Assistant to the Publisher AUDRA ASENCIO Advertising Coordinator JENNIFER TUCKER 

West Coast Director 


Southwest Manager 


6300 Wilshire Boulevard 

Los Angeles, California 90048 




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Midwest Manager 


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San Francisco, California 94133 






Mia S.R.L. 

Via Hoepli, 3 

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Go Media Sales Ltd. 

26 Rue de I'Eglise 
53200 Menil, France 


3121 Theatre Road North, 
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London Hong Kong 


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61 Grosvenor Street 15th Floor, Tower 2, Tern Centre 

London, England WIY 9DA 251 Queens Road Central 

44-20-7409-2616 Hong Kong 


Director of Merchandising Services ALYSSA ROCKLAND ADAMS Director of Brand Development BRENDA OLIVERI 

Creative Development Directors JENNIFER ORR KELMAN. MERID1TH LYNN PARKS 

Associate Creative Director COLLEEN MEADE CLAPS 



Multimedia Designer LIZ MARKUS 

Senior Merchandising Managers SHELBY TOMPKINS. JUDY MATZ. TERRENCE CHARLES Merchandising Manager HOLLY DONLON 

Marketing and Promotion Coordinator STACEY GOODFR1END Promotion Assistant KELLY FLORIO 

Entertainment Marketing Consultant JENNIFER PARKER 




Chairman S. I. NEWHOUSE, JR. 


Executive Vice President-Chief Operating Officer JOHN W BELLANDO 

Executive Vice President-Human Resources JILL BRIGHT 

Senior Vice President-Manufacturing and Distribution KEVTN G HICKEY 

Senior Vice President-Chief Communications Officer MAURIE PERL 

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Senior Vice President-Market Research SCOTT Mc DONALD 

Senior Vice President-Finance DEBI CHIRICHELLA 

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Vice President-Corporate Creative Director GARY VAN DIS 




Senior Vice President-Finance ROBERT A. SILVERSTONE 

Vice President-Corporate Sales SUZANNE GRIMES Vice President-Strategic Sales LINDA MASON 

Vice President-Corporate Sales, Detroit PEGGY DAITCH 
Vice President-Creative Marketing CARA DEOUL PERL Vice President-Marketing MATT ROBERTS 


Senior Vice President-Consumer Marketing PETER A ARMOUR 

Vice President-Retail Marketing JAMES J MATE 

Vice President-Strategic Planning/Business Development JULIE MICHALOWSK1 Consumer Marketing Director JOSEPH TIMKO 

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VANiT* f A I R 

MAY 20 

\: 1 

Calvin Klein 





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A Saint, More than Less 

At a picnic in Beverly Hills the 
day before the Oscars, Norm 
Pearlstine, the editor in chief 
of Time Inc., came over and 
gently told me, "Henry died." 
The news caught me so off guard, I didn't 
know what to say. And I confess that I 
had to force back the welling in my eyes. 
"Henry" was Henry Grunwald, a jour- 
nalistic icon and a beloved figure in con- 
centric social, literary, and political circles. 
He had been my boss when I first came 
to New York, and he and his wife, Louise, 
later became very special friends. 

To people who read his obituaries the 
next day in newspapers around the world, 
the broad brushstrokes of his extraordinary 

life probably seemed lifted from fiction. Henry had been a Viennese ref- 
ugee whose family had escaped Hitler's clutches during the Nazi rise. 
They fled first to Prague and then to Casablanca, Lisbon, and finally 
New York. Joining Time as a copyboy at the age of 21, he rose through 
the ranks to become editor in chief of the entire Time & Life empire. 
And he did it all in a language learned when he was a young adult. 
Henry worked at Time when it commanded the world stage. 
When it could elect presidents. In that cauldron of midcentury pow- 
er and ambition, his storied gifts for writing and remaining cool un- 
der pressure had become legend: it was said that he once dictated an 
entire cover story standing up and without ever correcting himself. 

As editor, Henry made Time— which in co-founder Henry Luce's 
day had been very much the house organ of the Republican 
Party— both more modern and more moderate. And indeed it 
was he who wrote Time's first-ever editorial, calling for the resigna- 
tion of President Richard Nixon, in November 1973. Henry was the 
age I am now when I met him, but he seemed so much worldlier, 
like a nobleman with a foot still in the old century. Were you to 
pass him in the hallway as he glided by in his trademark shuffle and 
his starched shirt and gleaming shoes, the mildest "Good morning, 
Graydon" would make your heart jump. 

Occasionally, he assembled a handful of the younger writers for 
lunch in one of the sleek private dining rooms on the 34th floor of 
the Time & Life Building. The meals would begin with prosciutto 
and melon. And in those days we drank at lunch. And smoked too, 

as I recall. Honored as you wer 
there, you sensed an almost par 
fear, hovering over the meal, that 
might ask your opinion on some 
of foreign or domestic policy yoi 
absolutely nothing about. 

Among the young generation b | 

into Time during Henry's reign a 

aging editor and, later, Time Ii 

itor in chief have been standou 

went on to win Pulitzer Prizes (M 

Dowd and Michiko Kakutani 

New York Times), and any nun# 

future editors, including Walter u 

son and Jim Kelly, who both b< I 

editors of Time, Stephen Smith H 

went on to edit U.S. News & Womi 

port, and Kurt Andersen, who would co-edit Spy and edit Ne 

magazine. (On this magazine's masthead, I count six who 

under the Grunwald banner.) 

Henry's life after Time Inc. was no less robust. Presiden 'i 
gan named him ambassador to his native Austria in 19 
wrote two memoirs and a novel, A Saint, More or Less, 
of historical fiction published in his 81st year to glowing revie\ \ 
suffered from macular degeneration, a progressive loss of cen 1 
sion. And although he wrote about it in his second memoir, 
once did I hear him complain about it. Or even mention it t 
in a funny way. He recalled once giving an effusive greeting to 
Sawyer, realizing only later that the woman was someone he ha 
er met— the Princess of Wales. A man who lived for the printed 
had a helper come in each day to read aloud the daily newsp.: 
He was the very definition of old-world grace and sophistk 
And despite Henry's having a shape leaning more toward an av. «t 
than an Adonis, I do not know a woman who wasn't absolutely r 
vated by him. With a voice like hot syrup running through a pipila 
courtly good manners, he was fairly devastating to members > n 
opposite sex. He was a great speaker. But he was an even bett n 
tener. One of his great strokes of good fortune was to have mem 
married Louise Melhado, and their 18-year marriage was, to m W 
the epitome of what a marriage could be. He set a very high biraj 
a husband, and she set just as high a bar for a wife. They were d 
ners, loves, soul mates. I saw him last at a dinner they gave ell 
this year for the stage star Barry HumpHB 
Henry looked impossibly refined in Be pi 
loafers and a loden jacket with horn butn 
He's gone. But his many prodigies conld 
in his shadow. (As do his children, inclvij 
daughter Lisa, whom I have known for h 
and who is publishing her fourth novel, I U 
exer Makes You Happy, later this month.) .■ 
Henry died, Louise gave me a beautiful vob 
of the Anglo-Irish playwright Richard Brifcj 
Sheridan's two comic masterpieces, The Sm 
for Scandal and The Rivals. The book pi 
belonged to Henry. He himself had wanttp 
be a playwright. But. like many, he fell I 
journalism and just kind of stayed. Thenlf 
so many who are grateful that he didp 
though I myself would love to have seen t p 
plays he never wrote. -GRAYDON CAp 

MAY 2 1 


From left, Teri Hatcher, Eva 
Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, 
Marcia Cross, and Felicity 
Huffman. Hair by Sally 
Hershberger Hatcher's and 
Longoria's makeup by Jo Strettell. 
Sheridan's makeup by Matin. 
Cross's and Huffman's makeup by 
Lutz. Manicures by Marsha Bialo 
and Lisa Postma. Hair products by 
John Frieda. Makeup products by 
Dior. Set design by Thomas 
Thumauer. Towels by Tod's. Styled 
by Ivy Montserrat. Photographed 
exclusively for V.F. by Mark Seliger 
at the former Bing Crosby estate, 
in Toluca Lake, California, 
February 12, 2005. ' 

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Lions Gate Films presents 

House of D, a comical and 

touching story of a man looking 

back at his childhood in 

Greenwich Village, written and 

directed by David Duchovny. 

The year is 1973, and 13-year-old 
Tommy Warshaw (Anton Yelchin) 

is on the brink of becoming a 
man. He lives an uneventful life, 

causing trouble at school and 
making afternoon deliveries with 

his best friend, Pappas (Robin 
Williams), a slow-witted janitor at 
his school. But when an unforeseen 

tragedy occurs, Tommy must 

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House of D examines a boy's 

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In theaters this April. 


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who has been fighting to protect 

America's rivers for more than 

20 years, fired a salvo against the 

environmental policies of 

President Bush. Appalled by the 

administration's rollbacks of I T *^^ . 

decades-old protections and its ~*~~ 

unwillingness to prosecute 
polluters, Kennedy wrote Crimes 
Against Nature. "Corporations" 
are crucial to our country, 
but they shouldn't be running 
our government," he says. 
"The Democrats have to frame 
environmental issues in these 
terms to appeal to the deep-rooted 
populist soul of Americans." In 
the epilogue to the paperback 
edition of the book, due out in July from HarperPerennial and excerpted in th 
Kennedy responds to the results of the 2004 presidential election. "The truth abou 
policies is not percolating through to the American people," says Kennedy. "We 
revive the Fairness Doctrine so that the airwaves once again belong to the 

For contributing editor MARK SEA 
researching this month's piece "The 
Life Aquatic" (see page 235) was a 
assignment he wanted never to con 
"These boats truly are things of grt 
beauty, particularly the older ones, 
he says. While visiting some of the \y\ 
most exclusive harbors, Seal disco\ 
not only that there is a new subculi 
people— "super-yacht owners"— but la 
he had previously underestimated 1 1 1 J 
of water toys. "To me, a boat was a 
a Boston Whaler," he says, "but the; 
things are whales. " Contributing e 
yachtsman herself and an essential source for this story, relished the opportunity to 
showcase these beautiful "homes on water." Stark Morrissey and Seal are shown 
on a charter from Newport Boats. 

Contributing editor NICK TOSCHES 

profiles Arnold Rothstein. whom he calls 
"the patriarch of crime in New York," on page 174. 
His new book on Rothstein, King of the Jews, 
will be published by Ecco this month. "Rothstein 
represents the golden age of New York, a time 
when anything went," says Tosches. "He was 
always a shadowy figure, and that intrigued me." 
Rothstein is largely— and falsely-remembered 
as the man who fixed the World Series in 1919. 
He was, however, the principal financier of the 
international heroin trade in the 1920s. Rothstein 
was murdered in 1928, and, as Tosches notes, 
"the mystery of his death remains to this day- 
there will be no solution." Tosches is currently 
taking a break from the very adult world 
of organized crime to work on a children's 
book, Johnny's First Cigarette. 




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While attending the 2004 Olympics in Athens 

last summer, NICHOLAS GAGE learned that 

Athina Onassis, whose boyfriend was competing 

in the games, was fighting to reclaim her family's 

legacy. This was more than idle gossip to the 

Greek-born Gage, who interviewed Athina's 

grandfather Aristotle Onassis as a young reporter 

in 1968 and has been chronicling the dynasty's 

vicissitudes ever since. "Something about this 

family fascinates the world," says Gage. "Aristotle 

Onassis was a refugee, built a great fortune, 

and won the hearts of two of the most famous 

women of the 20th century. Those kinds 

of men command attention." Gage is currently 

developing a film based on his 2000 book, 

Greek Fire, about Onassis and Maria Callas. 

Photographer ARNOLD NEWMAN has si| 

some of the most influential people of oi; 
including Igor Stravinsky, Marilyn Morml 
and every president since Truman (excepif 
far, George W. Bush). In the 1930s, he tc 
portraiture out of the studio and into the] 
of his subjects. "I got very annoyed by tr 
that every portrait was done by the numt 
he says, "same dark-blue suit, same little wl 
hankie, same pose, same expression, samj 
lighting, same building." The building in 
Newman photographed Victor Navasky h | 
issue happens to be where both men live. 
"We've been elevator neighbors for 30 ye-<.\ 
says Newman. "Victor is quite a brilliant 
and we had a lot of fun doing the shoot." 

From left: Jane Hill, Carlota Atlee, Dorothy Mackendrick, Ari Bergen, Charlie Frankel, 
Eva Maout, Don Luciano, Matt Ullian, and Emily Poenisch. 

V.F.'s 2005 Oscar party (see page 146 for coverage) would not have happened without t 
indomitable group of nine, who tackled thousands of faxes and phone calls, compiled 
hundreds of passes, and managed countless details. "Stamina and a sense of humor ar 
essential," explains editorial-promotions associate Matt Ullian. "After a grueling two wt 
we are on-site the day of the party at four p.m. and on our feet in black-tie working non 
for 12 hours. It's not for the faint of heart." But the team could not function without th 
leadership of Sara Marks, director of special projects. "You couldn't work like that for 
anyone," says Jane Hill, a seven-year veteran of the Oscar-party team. "Sara treats us 
with such affection and respect. We adore her." continued on pac 


MAY 2 





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Recording duo Floetry get expert 
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Markku Lappalainen (left) and Dan Estrin of Hoobastank get 
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Fergie of Black Eyed Peas. 


On February 9, 2005, Vanity Fair hosted the second annual GRAMMY Style Studio Kickoff 
Party at Hollywood's legendary Ocean Way Recording studios. The official fashion head- 
quarters of the GRAMMY' week celebrations, GRAMMY' Style Studio was a destination for 
A-list artists such as No Doubt, Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, Franz Ferdinand, Linkin Park, 
Hoobastank, Modest Mouse, and Paulina Rubio, who selected their onstage, red-carpet, 
and post-party fashions from a host of designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, 
Moschino, Vivienne Westwood, Jenny Packham, and Stitch's Denim. As the official beauty 
sponsor of the GRAMMY' Style Studio, Clarins transformed two rooms into an on-site spa 
where the star-studded guest list could unwind and rejuvenate while indulging in luxurious 
Clarins treatments for the body and face, as well as one-on-one makeup consultations with 
a Clarins Instructrice. Those in attendance also received a selection of Clarins grooming 
products for men and beauty products for women. For extended coverage of the 2005 
GRAMMY Style Studio — including more celebrity paparazzi shots — visit 
and click on "Vanity Fair Access." 


On February 10, 2005, Vanity Fair, Longchamp, and 
The Museum of Contemporary Art hosted a festive event at 
the Longchamp boutique in Coral Gables, Florida. More than 
100 guests gathered to celebrate the opening of the artist 
Ellen Gallagher's exhibition at MoCA and listen to her speak 
about her work. Guests also had the opportunity to shop the 
new Longchamp Spring Collection. Ten percent of the entire 
day's proceeds benefited MoCA, an organization known for its 
provocative and innovative exhibitions and for seeking a fresh 
approach in examining the art of our time. 


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Contributing editor BUZZ BISSINGER 

writes this month from the town of 
Fountain. Colorado— a community 
with a strong military presence and 
a number of citizens serving in Iraq. 
"The story is not pro-war or anti- 
war, but quintessentiaMy American." 
he says. "The people I interviewed 
are just so real, so honest— they 
embraced me with open arms." 
Bissinger, whose book Friday Night 
Lights inspired last year's acclaimed 
movie of the same name. adds. "The presence of football [in Fountain] served asl 
American way of keeping this community together in the midst of war." His newj 
about baseball, Three Nights in August, is out this month from Houghton 

Though it's commonly thought that Vanity 
didn't publish between 1936 and 1983, cont 
editor and "staff archivist*' DAVID KAMP 
" V.F.: The Missing Years" appears on page 19^ 
managed to find evidence to the contrary, 
to Kamp. "These excerpts are culled from tr 
parallel universe in which V.F. existed for hail 
century." Kamp is also co-creator of V.F.'s SI 
Dictionaries, including the Rock, Film, and | 
Snob's installments. "The goal is to have this 
eventually take over the magazine," says 
The Rock Snob's Dictionary: An Essential Lexi\ 
Rockological Knowledge, by Kamp and Stever 
will be published this month by Broadway Bol 


i ifei r 

Among those lost in the Asian tsunami 

was New York-based photographer 

FERNANDO BENGOECHEA, 39. whose work 

has appeared in V.F since 1996. Bengoechea 

was vacationing in Sri Lanka with his partner. 

interior designer Nate Berkus, when the wave hit. 

Berkus survived the disaster. Bengoechea, a 

photographer of celebrities, interiors, and exotic 

locations, had traveled to Italy last September 

for V.F. to photograph super-yachts. "He 

was always upbeat, even when things didn't go 

smoothly." says Sarah Czeladnicki, V.F.'s 

senior associate photo editor. "We were told a 

yacht was going to be in Porto Turistico and 

it ended up being in Capri. Before I could do 

anything about it, Fernando said it wasn't a 

problem— he'd already made plans to get there." 



Quite literally, contributing editor ELISSA 
SCHAPPELL lives in a world of books. "My 
apartment is filled with boxes upon boxes of then 
says V.F.'s Hot Type columnist of the daily 
shipments she receives from publishers. "It look: 
like I have an incredible collection of Dada-esqu 
furniture." Nevertheless, she says. "There is no 
greater job for a writer. It is inspiring to see all tl 
work that is put out every month." Schappell is 
making her own contribution to the heap with h> 
latest book, 77?? Friend tt7to Got Away: Twenty 
Women's True-Life Tales of Friendships That Blew 
Burned Out, or Faded Away, which will be 
published by Doubleday in May. 

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An alumnus speaks out; Hitchens s critics give praise; loving Emily; 
sizing up Kabbalah; bluffing with nipples; and more 


rank DiGiacomo's article "School 
for Cool" (March) did not accu- 
rately portray the Crossroads 
School's true academic strengths 
or the community at large. Out- 
siders routinely label the school 
"progressive." but its true strengths are much 
more traditional: passionate teachers com- 
mitted to excellence, small class sizes, a rig- 
orous (and often stress-inducing) curricu- 
lum, and a belief that the individual matters. 
The school was much more about em- 
powering students with a voice and a sense 
of ownership of their education and much 
less about the celebrity gossip your article 
so tastelessly described. While children of 
Hollywood superstars do attend, the vast 
majority of the student body is composed 
of kids from middle-class families that 
place a high priority on quality education. 


Gass of 1999 

San Diego. California 

remind me of people who will do anything 
to forget the ordinariness of their own 
childhood and will lavish large sums of 
money on their children to give them new, 
different, and superior experiences. 

In this way. Crossroads is no different 
from any other prep school where the fam- 
ilies all come from the same industries, same 
socioeconomic background, and same pre- 
scribed material expectations. Such a homo- 
geneous pool can be its own gilded cage. 

Fullerton. California 


I WAS ELATED to read "Ohio's Odd Num- 
bers," from the erudite Christopher Hitch- 
ens [March]. His analysis of voting irreg- 
ularities in Ohio is old hat to many of us 

liberal "nutbags and paranoids" who ha\ 
been outraged by large-scale voter disei 
franchisement and election manipulatio 
for two consecutive presidential elections. 

We appreciate your conservative nod cl 
approval. Mr. Hitchens. but does your kee I 
analysis suddenly validate what has largel 
been regarded as leftist "paranoia" and rac 
ical "conspiratorial" claims? 

Anyone with a conscience, regardless o 
party affiliation, must question the curren 
state of our electoral process and demand ; 
systematic change. Our Founding Father 
would be turning ov er in their graves if the; 
knew of America's complacency in tolerat 
ing a voting system plagued with corrup 
tion and irregularities. 


Atascadero. Californi; 

I AM WRITING to commend Christophei 
Hitchens for his courageous analysis of the 
presidential-vote count in Ohio "that refuses 



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to add up." I was. for a number of years, a 
great admirer of Mr. Hitchens's, in part 
because of his staunch refusal to get caught 
up in the conceits of our society. But over 
the past few years, in my view, he has be- 
come petulant and arrogant. The final straw 
was his decision that George Bush should 
be re-elected, despite all the evidence to 
the contrary, and that John Kerry, as Mr. 
Hitchens put it, should not be elected pres- 
ident "of any country at any time." If con- 
tinuing suspicions about Ohio's vote are 
borne out, Mr. Bush does not deserve to be 
president, either. 

But while stories of election impropri- 
eties in Ohio have been circulating since the 
election. I certainly don't see the Justice 
Department launching an investigation. 
However, when someone of the stature and 

mind-set of Mr. Hitchens calmly and astute- 
ly raises pertinent questions about Ohio, it 
gives us some hope. This really is a big deal, 
and I hope Mr. Hitchens's imprimatur is 
enough to finally get something done. Re- 
ports of voter suppression simply cannot 
and should not be ignored. After all this time 
of loathing him, I have found that my admi- 
ration for Mr. Hitchens has returned. 

Great Falls. Virginia 

FOR ALL THE PEOPLE who still refuse to 
believe that the 2004 presidential election 
was stolen, even after reading "Ohio's Odd 
Numbers," in the plainest language possi- 
ble, here is what I think happened: Two 
or three highly technologically savvy peo- 
ple monitored the computerized election 

returns. When it became clear Bush wc 
not win a key county, one of these techl 
burglars quickly, anonymously, and remJ 
!y hacked into the computerized votj 
system and switched the vote to favor Bi 
This cannot be proved, because finding 
deliberate change in thousands of layer 
code is akin to finding a needle in the 
verbial haystack. 

This Republican will go to her grd 
knowing how Bush won re-election, but | 
optimist is convinced that computeri? 
voting systems will be changed to rest<| 
our faith in democracy. 

S. M< ( 
New York. New v. | 


article regarding the voting irregulariti 
you became aware of in Ohio. Many of 
are very familiar with what you found. Tj 
mystery is why the media are not m< 
interested in investigating the possil 
voter fraud. If any of the allegations 
true, it calls into question our very idea 
democracy. I find it mind-boggling that tl 
press can follow stories of election fraud 
other countries with major headlines ai 
commentary, but simply turn a blind eye 
our own country. It raises this question: 
this silence from fear or is there a more sj 
ister reason? At any rate, it makes consp 
acy theories inevitable. 

Tulsa. OklahonJ 


mention in his article ["From Fear to Ete 
nity." March] that The Americanization i 
Emily was produced by my husband, Marti 
Ransohoff. he might be interested to kno\ 
that Martin considers this his finest film. Th 
controversial film was. indeed, ahead of it 
time, and it was actually banned on militar 
bases after it opened. 

Although Paddy Chayefsky's messag> 
was not anti-war. but anti-glorification-ol 
war, it is hard to hold out hope in the cur 
rent militant mood that this film will b< 
made more available to the most vulnera 
ble among us. 

Bel Air. Californi; 

I FIRST HEARD about The Americanization 
of Emily in 1984 when I was in college. A 
roommate described the film to me in vivid 
precise-dialogue detail. It clearly moved 
him. so I made a note to find the film and 
watch it. It took six months of combing Tl 
Guide before I finally saw the title listed. M\ 
friend taped it, and we watched it over and 
over, trying, each time, to analv-ze and mem- 



MAY 2005 













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orize the jagged brilliance of Paddy Chayef- 
sky's writing. It is the only movie I've ever 
seen that exceeded my expectations. Wol- 
cott's wonderfully written appreciation artic- 
ulated the many reasons why. 

Three years ago, on the night of my 40th 
birthday, a limo took my wife and me to a 
small revival movie house^ When I entered 
the theater, 200 people stood up and yelled 
"Surprise!" Thanks to our friend the actress 
Dana Delany and her friend the movie ex- 
ecutive John Calley (he was Emily's associ- 
ate producer), we were all about to watch 
a fresh-struck 35-mm. print of Emily. 

For all the years I had taped it, watched 
it. lent it, and discussed it, I had never seen 
Emily on the big screen and never heard 
the laughter it could elicit from a large, un- 
suspecting audience. It left me dazed and 

When the film ended, people debated it 
in the aisles. Many loved it, some hated it, 
a smattering were just plain bored, but a few 
were simply mystified, wondering, Why isn't 
this movie considered a classic? I had no 
good answer. 

Wolcott has ventured a few. Maybe now, 

if Emily gets the attention it has deserved for 

so long, the question will become: Why hasn't 

this movie always been considered a classic? 


Hollywood, California 

WE WERE SURPRISED and delighted to 
see Mr. Wolcott 's piece on The American- 
ization of Emily. While Mr. Wolcott writes 
about the delights of this overlooked clas- 
sic and about rescuing it from obscurity, 
we'd like to point out that Warner Home 
Video began its remastering process more 
than a year ago and has slated the DVD 
debut of Emily for May 10, 2005. 

Having Vanity Fair do such a spectacular 
story on one of our most treasured classic 
films is wonderful. Now it will be equally 
wonderful for your readers, who will no 
longer have to, as Mr. Wolcott puts it, scav- 
enge, hunt, scan late-night TV listings, or 
canvass grimy video-rental stores. 


Executive director, publicity and 

communications. Warner Home Video 

Burbank, California 


AS I READ "The Garden of Kabbalah," by 
Evgenia Peretz (March), I became increas- 
ingly uncomfortable with statements such 
as: "Another [former student] says she was 
told that if she didn't go on the grand High 
Holiday trip to New York— which cost about 
$2,000— her family would be in danger." 
And "Giving to other causes is actually dis- 
couraged.*' Or "The Centre has kept its finan- 

cial books closed." And "Rav and Karenl 
building three houses in Beverly Hills." , 
finally, "Karen drives a Mercedes S50| 
Kabbalah smells to me like the 2] 
century version of Jim and Tammy Fj 
Bakker, but with an all-star cast! Peo{ 
take your millions and give them to le£ 
mate charities— that will make you nic 

Huntsville, Onti 

THE ACT OF BEING nonjudgmental is | 
of the foundations of Kabbalah; therefo 
the realization that this principle was I 
being utilized in "The Garden of Kabj 
lah" was a bit unsettling. Religion and 
losophy have perennially caused gre 
speculation, denunciation, and— in juxtarj 
sition— acclaim. If any religion or belief s| 
tern was examined in the manner that \| 
Peretz did Kabbalah, its benefits would 
pear nonexistent. 

As for the commercialization of Kabt 
lah, it is no more commercialized than Chr 
tianity. Kabbalah sells red bracelets, Kabt 
lah water, books, and candles. ChristiaruJ 
sells crosses, holy water, books, and candle 

In terms of lambasting donations to ] 
balah centers, I ask readers and Ms. Pere 
to remember the practice of the Sunda 
morning collection plate. 

This is not meant to prove one faith 
superior to another. Nor is this meant to d^ 
credit Ms. Peretz's writing abilities. I sir 
ply ask that if people are going to judge Ka j 
balah they also recognize the parallels 
has with their respective belief systems. 

Boston, Massachusetl 

overpaid executives being suckered by 
flavor-of-the-week cult such as Kabbalaj 
are endlessly amusing. 

What the Bergs and L. Ron Hubbardl 
and maharishis of the world grasp with suiT 
gical precision is that outsize egos like thosj 
of Madonna and Roseanne actually believJ 
they are capable of attaining and revealinij 
the Meaning of Life. 

Hayle, EnglanJ 


tocols of the Elders ofZion, a fraudulent docl 
ument, made the rounds in Europe. Thhr 
false manifesto depicted a secret plot by Jew:| 
for world domination and led to numerousf 
acts of anti-Semitism on the Continent. 

I think that Evgenia Peretz showed a deftl 
hand taking us inside the Kabbalah craze.l 
but her article left me with a few concerns. I 
In the piece, she quotes a former student of 
the Kabbalah Centre's as saying that the 
Bergs "are people who want Kabbalah to 
take over the world." The article raises the 




MAY 2005 






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possibility that the celebrities following the 
teachings of the Bergs. Eitan Yardeni, and 
others have been brainwashed. While Ms. 
Peretz does try to draw a line between the 
Kabbalah Centre and Judaism in general, I 
wonder if that line will be lost on most read- 
ers and they will instead see the Kabbalah 
Centre as a latter-day Protocols. 

I wish that the Kabbalah Centre and all 
the celebrities who are being "converted" to 
its teachings would keep to themselves. 
Spiritual enlightenment is a private endeav- 
or, not something to trot before the cameras. 

Toronto, Ontario 


THE LAST TIME we played poker at Angel- 
ica Huston's home ["Poker's Wild," by Duff 
McDonald, March], I walked away with the 
winner-take-all pot. Which means either (a) 
I've trained my nipples to stiffen even when 
I bluff or (b) Anjelica should spend more 
time looking at her cards and less time gaz- 
ing at my chest. 

Hollywood. California 


lywood Issue, I note that you credited Cate 
Blanchett's husband. Andrew Upton, with 
having directed her onstage in a recent Syd- 
ney production of Hedda Gabler ["The 
Fantastics," March]. 

Talented though Andrew is, the produc- 
tion was actually directed by Robyn Nevin. 
the artistic director of Sydney Theatre Com- 
pany, the group which produced the work. 

Andrew was responsible for the admirably 
contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's 
text, and the production was a sold-out suc- 
cess. It will be seen with its original cast- 
including Cate, Hugo Weaving, and Aden 
Young— at the Brooklyn Academy of Music 
for a strictly limited season in March 2006. 

Sydney. Australia 


Moore ["Moore's War," by Judy Bachrach, 
March], about which I would like to offer 
the following comment: Moore did not lose 
the election for John Kerry, any more than 
the Dixie Chicks or Dan Rather did— John 
Kerry lost the election for being John Kerry 
and for fighting the battle on Bush's turf. 
When he insisted that the issue was not why 


A shirt by George Diovolitsis, featuring 
his trademark Furious George character. Diavi 
designed the shirt to mock the Kabbalah crc 

the U.S. went to war but how we went to w; 
he framed the ultimate question in ter 
most favorable to Bush: Who is best qua 
fied to implement George Bush's foreign pi 
icy— George Bush or John Kerry? Not su 
prisingly, many Americans voted for Bus) 

Phoenix, Arizo 

MICHAEL MOORE is preaching to the co 
verted. His documentaries lull liberals in 
thinking that his indictments are going I 
change the minds of the Bible-thumping, gu 
toting, gas-guzzling Bush-leaguers who mak 
up our not-so-silent majority. 

Moore should make action feature films 
Perhaps then he could lure the Bush-leaguer 
into hearing his message. Having Warrei 
Beatty or Robert Redford play some Charl 
ton Heston-like action hero might be a wa\ 
to hook them! 

New York. New Yort 


THE COVER of your 11th annual Hollywood 
Issue [March] frightened me. I know your 
photographers like to make their pictures 
look painterly, like John Singer Sargent mas- 
terpieces, but why does Vanity Fair always 
insist on making young stars look like cadav- 

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one another. This year, the 12 above-mentioned Online Film 





Margaret and Doreen 

rhis tale of eiderdowns and envy, 
iimaker Justin Rodgers explores the 
'ker side of human nature. Feeble, 
I Margaret moves into Doreen's room 
a nursing home for some friendly 
npany. but soon shows her new 
)mmate that even frailty cannot thwart 
>re sinister intentions. 

Small Change 

la Mande taps into her background 
filmmaking, typography, and visual 
ects for her short film about a 
jng woman's glee — and alarm — at 
covering a magical truth-telling coin 
I reveals details about her fiancee's 
st. The coin also shows her that love 
't about avoiding risks; it's about 
ing them. 

Life Against Memory 

e Austin-based filmmaking team of 
les Webb and Evan Torchin has 
nbined their talents in photography and 
eenwriting on Life Against Memory, 
\ story of a man, lost and out of gas, 
10 ponders the relationship between 
xnory and reality — and raises more 
estions than answers in the process. 


brmer advertising art director with 
)irations of becoming a Hollywood 
a director, Scott Smith has written 
i directed several commercial spots, 
well as the short film, Ten. In this 
igue-in-cheek comedy, a man 
spasses on all Ten Commandments 
a matter of minutes. 


The Misconception of Randal Bimford 

A faulty social security number, fried 
eggs, a strange dog, and a taxidermied 
cat culminate in a staggering moment of 
enlightenment for one man leading a life 
of monotony and isolation. In writer- 
director Matt Jarrett's comedic short film, 
a little change is better than no change 
at all. 


An assistant professor of media arts and 
sciences, Chris Perry explores the themes 
of familiar versus foreign and pleasantness 
versus unpleasantness in his computer- 
animated short film. Using a combination 
of graphics and visual storytelling, 
Displacement tells a classic tale of an 
individual tempted by change. 


In writer-director Robert Samuels's film 
Untitled, Jim Avocet begins to see 
objects transformed into letters and 
spoken words throughout the course of 
one disorienting day. Is Jim losing his 
mind, or is something more mysterious 
going on? 

Lost Youth 

With more than 20 years in the film 
and television industries. Howard Shaw 
has conceived and created hundreds 
of programs including short films, 
television commercials, and educational 
programming. His latest project. Lost 
Youth, is a hard-hitting docudrama that 
examines the lives of four young victims 
of workplace accidents. 


Director-animator-sculptor Rich Lee lends 
a unique and ominous point of view to 
Precursor, the story of a woman living a 
day-to-day routine, oblivious to the state 
of the world around her, until a single 
moment in time alters her existence forever. 


Good Stuff: The Story of a Man, 
a Dream, and a Whole Lotta Kites 
Siberian-born Dennis Guskov uses 
optimism, humor, and a lot of kites 
in his short film about Ray Bethell, 
a 79-year-old world-record holder for 
multiple-kite flying who lives by 
the mantra that, despite the unfairness 
of life, the human spirit endures, 
and "that's good stuff." 

Trailer: The Movie 

Writer-director Douglas Horn sends up 
big-budget trailers in this short film based 
on a true story. When two filmmakers 
discover their blockbuster is a bust, they 
splice together every half-decent shot 
they've got into a misleading trailer to 
dupe audiences and save their careers. 

Say Nothing 

Filmmakers Andrew Hunt and Jason Lausche 
were schooled in New York City before 
forming Sleepy Eye, a collective team of 
filmmakers based in Minneapolis. Say 
Nothing, their newest two-minute short, 
is described simply as a comedy where 
"boy meets girl. ..blah, blah, blah." 

/al nominees will compete for the annual grand prize: the 2005 Budweiser 
naker Discovery Award. 

tionally, BUDWEISER TRUE FILMS supports a variety of other film initiatives, 
ding The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and IFP/Los Angeles, a nonprofit 
nization that champions the cause of independent film and the artists who 
e it. To learn more about BUDWEISER TRUE FILMS, visit 





Takashi Murakami 




Curated by one of Japan's most 

celebrated artists, Takashi Murakami, 

Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's 

Exploding Subcultures explores the 

culture of postwar Japan through its 

arts and popular visual media. 

Microsoft is proud to be a major 

sponsor of this extraordinary 

exhibition. Little Boy: The Arts of 

Japan's Exploding Subcultures is on 

view from April 8 through 

July 24, 2005, at the Japan Society 

in New York City. For information, 

call 212-832-1155 or 


"*Y^ * 

• s 



IN 3D 

Get ready for the next new 

adventure from Spy Kids creator 

Robert Rodriguez. In theaters 

June 10, The Adventures of 

Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3D is an 

inspiring story for the whole 

family that proves that all it takes 

is a dream to make anything a 

reality. Microsoft is pleased to 

Sponsor the worldwide premiere 

of' The Adventures of 

Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3D. 


ers? All that pale skin and bankrupt-soul 
spookiness is off-putting. How about some 
sunshine and smiles for your next issue? 

Beverly Hills, California 


Kashner's essay on Rebel Without a Cause 
["Dangerous Talents," March], I have to 
take issue with the suggestion that either 
Nicholas Ray or his films have been forgot- 
ten or neglected in some way. Ray is con- 
sidered one of the greatest filmmakers of 
the 20th century, and his works— not only 
Rebel but also In a Lonely Place, On Dan- 
gerous Ground, They Live by Night, Bigger 
than Life, Party Girl, and many others— are 
considered some of the finest examples of 
paranoid 1950s cinema extant. 


Ryan Professor of Film Studies 

University of Nebraska 

Lincoln, Nebraska 

INTERESTING STORY on Nicholas Ray and 
the making of Rebel Without a Cause. But I 
must comment on Sam Kashner's interview 
with Frank Mazzola, erstwhile member of a 
Hollywood "gang" called the Athenians. The 
Athenians were an on-campus boys' social 
club at Hollywood High School in the early 
1950s, along with other boys' clubs. I myself 
was a member of a girls' club. 

Mazzola's statement that he was "defend- 
ing Hollywood" is heady stuff. Even more 
impressive is his having "two or three fights 
a night." Wow! I suppose that's true if one 
takes into account the food fights at noon 
on the Quad at Hollywood High between 
rival boys' clubs. But, hey, Athenians rule. 

Studio City, California 


IN THE BEGINNING of Rupert Ever- 
ett's article ["Letter from Cambodia,", February], I couldn't help 
but get defensive. Why? Well, I am a Cam- 
bodian woman, 20 years old and living 
with my parents, who are originally from 
Kampuchea. I was leery of Mr. Everett's 
motives, but once he explained his views 
on how celebrities can aid my country in 
need I decided to give the piece a chance 
and I continued to read. His article turned 
out to be so moving and heart-wrenching 
that I wanted to slap myself for even 
questioning his motives. For the 20 years 
that I have been living in this world as a 
so-called Cambodian-American, I realize 

that I know very little about my cou 
My parents have told me stories al 
their lives in Cambodia, living under 
Pot, refusing to go along with the geno 
and how my mother lost one of her si 
during the Khmer Rouge while my fa 
was fighting against his own people 
much as I learned from their storie 
didn't really understand the aftermatl 
what my parents' homeland has g. 
through. I have heard about the cun 
problems with aids and H.I.V. in Can 
dia, but I did not know that the dise 
had spread to so many children. 

This article has opened my eyes e 
wider to the struggle that Cambodians 
go through today. It also showed me t 
celebrities like Mr. Everett and Ange 
Jolie have a deeper motivation than 
publicizing my people to gain recognit 
that celebrities are "good" people who 
"good" deeds. Thanks, Mr. Everett, for y 
genuine love for Cambodia. 

Bronx, New Y 

VANITYFAIR.COM IS an amazing Web s 
I love the "Roundtable" feature. I he 
always enjoyed Vanity Fair magazine, a 
the addition of your Web site furthers i 
belief that you have the greatest talent. 

Peoria, Illin 

CORRECTIONS: On page 66 of the January it 
('The Devil and Miss Regan," by Judith Ni 
man), we incorrectly stated the reason for Ret 
Irvaszkiewicz's departure from publisher Harp, 
Collins. She did not threaten the company ntt/ 
sexual-harassment suit. We regret the error. Onpc 
396 of the March issue ("Hollywood Portfolio," 7 
Bright Young Things), director Lars Von Trie 
nationality was misidentified. He is Danish. 
page 291 of the March issue f 'Poker's Wild, " by Dt 
McDonald), we brought the Marx Brothers' fath 
back from the dead and placed him in a pok 
game in 1957. Actually he had died in 1933. T 
Samuel Marx we should have placed there, a regi 
lar at Ira and Lee Gershwin 's poker game, was U 
onetime head of the writing department at MGA 

On page 125 of Vanity Fair'/ book Oscar Nigh 
75 Years of Hollywood Parties, we mistak 
enly identified Tony Martin imitating Maurii 
Chevalier as Maurice Chevalier. 

Letters to the editor should be sent electron 
cally with the writer's name, address, and da> 
time phone number to Letter 
to the editor will also be accepted via fax a 
212-286-4324. All requests for back issue 
should be sent to A] 
other queries should be sent to 
The magazine reserves the right to edit sub 
missions, which may be published or otherwis( 
used in any medium. All submissions becomt 
the property of Vanity Fair. 

may 200: 



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Paula Marti has the face of a model and the heart of a lioness. Facing her first play-off. in just her fifth professional 
tournament, she shrugged off any fear, and literally took the challenge and won. Fearlessness. That is the beauty 
of Paula Marti's game. 




31 DayA ia the £ife of the Cultu^ 

TTlay. 2005 





Cornelia Guest on Cap-FerrcrT! 
in 1983 — one of many subjects ca|5 
Harry Benson's America, a coffee-ta" 
book out this month. For more, 
turn to page 100. 

kY 2 5 


www. vanity 

You are not 
what you were born, 
but what you have 
it in yourself 
to be. 

one person 
and another 
there is 
only light. 

. woman in my 
place has two faces. 
One for the world, 
and one which she 
wears in privacy. 



e without fear in 
:he face of your enemies. 
Speak the truth, always, 
svenifit leads to 
^our death. 

Safeguard the helpless, 
fhat is your oath. 

Kingdom of he/ven 


MAY 6 


. . 

MINCE your words, for the Royale Theatre will not. David 
Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning, brutal drama, Glengarry G/en 
Ross, opens tonight for its first Broodway revival. 

RISE to the occasion. Cream's Ginger Baker, 
Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton cross roads in concert 
at the Royal Albert Hall tonight. 

TUNE OUT everything except Lorraine Hunt 

Lieberson's voice. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano sings tonight 

at Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center. 

SCOPE OUT modern furniture, textiles, and lighting at the 
International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in New York City, which 
hosts 500 exhibitors from as far away as Peru and New Zealand. 

DECANT AND SWISH some of the world's best reds and whites 
while learning from award-winning sommeliers, vintners, and chefs 
at the 2005 Nantucket Wine Festival, which begins today. 

RECALL. Echoing the W.P.A.'s Federal Writers Project, Dave 
Isay's StoryCorps launches two Airstream trailers, with audio, from 
Washington, D.C., to record oral histories of everyday people. 


BID high. The not-so-silent auction for Kageno Kenya and 
Kageno Rwanda, programs designed to improve health standards 
and the quality of life in African communities, kicks off in N.Y.C. 

SPLURGE on a bottle of Patron. Cinco de 
Mayo happens only once a year. 


6 TAKE your loved one by the hand as you listen 
to the legendary Al Green bring down the 
House of Blues, in Chicago. 


RUN for the roses at the Kentucky Derby, in 
Louisville. Ladies, don't forget your large hats. 

ADMIT, finally, that she 
knows what's best. It's 
Mother's Day! 


BEFRIEND the best-dressed at N.Y.C.'s Parsons 

School of Design's Annual Benefit and Fashion Show, this year 

honoring Saks Fifth Avenue's Fred Wilson. 

LIVE well. Kevin Spacey stars in Philip Barry's The Philadelphia 
Story, a tale of aristocratic love and lust, at London's Old Vic 

SHOVEL carbs. Spain's Ironman Lanzarote t 

Triathlon— dubbed the toughest Ironman competition 
in the world— takes place tomorrow. 

CELEBRATE all walks of life. The Life Ball 2005 benefit, 
a spectacular society event and one of Europe's largest AIDS fund- 
raisers, takes place tonight at Vienna's City Hall. 

FLOCK to London's National Gallery to catch 
the last day of the dramatic painting exhibition 
"Caravaggio: The Final Years." 

PIROUETTE. The American Ballet Theatre's 
Spring Gala, a dazzling showcase of the world's 
best ballet talent, takes place this evening in N.Y.C. 

HOP AND BOP to the "Crocodile Rock." Elton John performs 
at the Palais Omnisports, in Paris, tonight as part of his world tour. 

FOLLOW your crew to the finish! Eights Week, 

a series of rowing races among the colleges of Oxford 

University, begins today on the Isis. 

FOCUS on the contemporary visual arts at the 
Reykjavik Arts Festival, which celebrates both Icelandic 
and international culture. 



GET coiffed. The new Blow styling salon, in N.Y.C.'s Meatpacking 
District, specializes in speedy, glam blow-outs that start at $35. It's 
a dream come true. And no appointments necessary. 

WITNESS photography at its best. World Press Photo celebrates its 
50th anniversary at London's Royal Festival Hall as part of a global 

PIG OUT ond swap hickory-smoked-rib recipes at 
the World Championship Barbecue-Cooking Contest, 
in Memphis, May 12-14. 

i\ h\ 

BE BOWLED OVER as some 250 motorized 
works of art take to the streets in Houston's wacky 
Art Car Parade. 

GET primitive at the groundbreaking exhibition 

"Dinosaurs Alive: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas," 

at New York's American Museum of Natural History. 

I JL LISTEN to Renee Fleming, Lii 

wordsmiths as they help Literacy 
reading, in New York. 

Smith, and other well-versed 
Partners mark its annual 


DAB ON No. 5 and visit "Chanel," an 
exhibition honoring the career of fashion's most 
revered designer, at New York's Met. 

DANCE where the streets have no name. Don't 
miss the last U.S. date of U2'i Vertigo Tour, at the 
FleetCenter, in Boston. 

ACT on your aesthetic desires and observe "Under One Sky: 
Photographs by Margo Davis" at the Monterey Museum, in 
Monterey, California. 

SALUTE the "Faces of the Fallen" exhibition, at the Women 
in Military Service for America Memorial, in Washington, 
D.C., honoring over 1,000 American military members. 

LOOK again. As part of its "Independent Lens" 
series, PBS airs Amanda Micheli's Double Dare, a 
documentary examining the lives of stuntwomen. 




MAY 2005 



In the U.S. a woman will die from breasl incer, on average, every 13 minutes. 
We must stop this, here and around the world. Research today saves lives tomorrow. 


^ Breast 




Funding the fight to prevent and cure breast cancer in our lifetime. 

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation 
Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, 1.866. FIND.A.CURE 



T elcoi 

elcome bulb-ilicious springtime 
with Jane Alison's rapturous novel Natives and 
Exotics (Harcourt), in which three generations of 
international transplants discover their true na- 
tures while those around them plunder the par- 
adises of earth. 

Also in bloom: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Wat- 
son hunt the possibly murderous spirit of The Ital- 
ian Secretary (Carroll & Graf) that inhabits Caleb 
Carr's detective novel. Jennie Erdal discloses 
how in the 1980s she was Ghosting (Doubleday) 
the books, the newspaper columns, and even the 
love letters of a "flamboyant British publisher." 
Charles Drazin edits The Journals (Knopf) of 
John Fowles, author of The French Lieutenant's 
Woman. In Art and the Power of Placement (Mona- 
celli), Victoria Newhouse (wife of Conde Nast 
chairman S. I. Newhouse Jr.) elegantly frames the 
question of how display shapes meaning. Wesley 
Stace (also known as John Wesley Harding) de- 
buts with a gender-bending adventure novel, Mis- 
fortune (Little, Brown). Richard Cahrocoressi's 
Lee Miller (Thames & Hudson) reflects the pho- 
tographer's uncommon life. In 109 East Palace 
(Simon & Schuster), Jennet Conant casts light 
on the top-secret city of Los Alamos. Catherine 
Leroy celebrates the astonishing photographers 
and writers who worked Under Fire (Random 

House) in Vietnam. Maria Hamburg Kennedy 

and Ben Stiller are Looking at Los Angeles (Me- 
tropolis). Too white? Need to de-whackify your bad self? Read Amanda McCall and Albertina 
Rizzo's Hold My Gold: A White Girl's Guide to the Hip-Hop World (Simon & Schuster). 

In short order: Al Roker and friends know it takes a big daddy to fill the Big Shoes (Hyperion) of fa- 
therhood. Tour The Landmarks of New York (Monacelli) with Barbaralee D iamonstei n - Spielvogel. 
Melissa McConnell debuts with Evidence of Love (Harcourt). The Franklin Affair (Random House) 
is Jim Lehrer's 15th novel. Ten critics and 100 architects equal 10xl0_2 
(Phaidon). Marc Meyer edits the brash, controversial, and wildly gift- 
ed Basquiat (Merrell). Eric Bogosian's second novel captures New 
York City's Wasted Beauty (Simon & Schuster). 

As it is the season of burning sacrifices, follow pork-fancying pilgrim 
Peter Kaminslcy in search of Pig Perfect (Hyperion), a quest that leads 
from tailgate banquets to Mayan kitchens. Bacon equals salvation . . . 

Clockwise from top left: a house in Portugal by the 
architecture firm Aires Mateus, from IOxlO_2; 
the house of Charles and Ray Eames, from Looking 
at Los Angeles; Margaret Bourke-White, 1942, 
from Lee Miller; Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, 
1982, from Basqu'at. 



Homecoming Scene 


There was something about putting 
together the pieces of people's livesl 
their characters, and their development frrl 
childhood to their present that seemed m| 
natural calling," journalist, TV producer, 
and V.F. staffer Sue Carswell writes in 
affecting new memoir, Faded Pictures frc 
My Backyard (Ballantine). In this case 
characters Carswell is reconstructing 
spring from her own juvenescence on the 
grounds of the Albany Home for Childr 
in New York, in the late 60s and 70s. Fori 
1 7 years Carswell's father was the head I 
of the Home (he worked there for 34), 
while her beloved mother, a nurse, was 
the heart. The girlhood Carswell revisits 
appears on the surface to be a blithely 
happy one— full of swimming, riding bike;| 
and sneaking nips of Champale while 
her parents are away— but in fact it is 
decidedly haunted. For existing only a 
hundred yards away, in an alternate 
universe, are the sad, unruly, and 
occasionally demented orphans who 
habitually wear mismatched socks, cry oi 
in the night, and attempt escape. Carswel 
is obsessed with and troubled by these 
children her entire life, but it isn't until she 
goes off to college, reluctantly separating 
herself from her mother, that she realizes 
she has assimilated a good deal of their 
psychological trauma. Carswell's memoir 
proves that, indeed, you can never go 
home again, but, in her case, the Home is 
always in the heart. | 

Francine du Plessix Gray's Nicole Krauss's 

gre parents- 
other Tatiano, a fashion 
:on, and stepfather 
Alexander Liberman, fable 
editorial director of Conde 




J I 


worthy novel Tfie 
orton), a 60-year-old 
n links its now elderly 
author— an 80-year- 
old Polish locksmith- 
and a 14-year-old 
girl, named for one 
rching for her 

•)l VANITY FAIR) www.vanitylair.eom 


Sue Carswell 
at II Cantinori in 
New York 

MAY 2005 

It's £eTT6f{ iaj Ttfe 0a#k. 

-/<fe*/A/£77/ Cols 



Condesa Caliente 




From top: facade 

of the Condesa; 

patio bar at 

the restaurant; 

rooftop terrace. 

otels in Mexico City are, in general, old-sch 
with the notable exception of Habita, a sty 
place for the Prada-, Gucci-, and Galliano-ites 
have been flocking to the Mexican capital, lu 
by a rich culture and cheap living. Now they have a sec 
option, called Condesa DF, the creation of Jonathan M 
(Townhouse, in Miami Beach, Bond Street restaurant, in rV 
hattan), along with Carlos Couturier and Moises Mic 
the men behind Habita. Condesa ("countess") is named 
its up-and-coming artists' neighborhood, which, accordir 
Morr, "is kind of like SoHo-meets-Nolita eight years a 
Working with Paris-based architect India Mahdavi, Morr took a 1928 "Parisian-looking" buil 
and gutted it to create a triangular courtyard, around which the 40-room establishment revolves, 
neighborhood is no Lomas or Polanco— it's not wealthy-so we wanted to do everything in a si 
way," says Morr. Inspiration for most of the rooms, according to Mahdavi, came from "the maximum i 
of a monk's cell." Morr explains: "We thought, O.K., what does a monk have? A table, a chair, a bed, 
beside the bed you have one light. In this case the bed became for two monks." The less monastic 
inclined can rent airy suites housed in a new glass structure on top of the old building. Also an un-ChrisI 
nightclub is planned for the basement. Mahdavi designed a lot of the curvaceous furniture, whi 
mixed with older, modern pieces; she also developed a dramatic syste 
white shutters that line the walls of the center court and look like a grap 
conceptual-art piece. What you don't see at Condesa is the typical brightly 
ored Mexican aesthetic. Polished woods and turquoise make up the c 
themes. "When people think of Mexico, they 
think of the Luis Barragan palette of 
yellows and pinks," says Mahdavi 
"But that does not fit this area. It 
is much more European in feel- 
ing." And now, thanks to Con- 
desa DF, truly international. 


Lose yourself in 
the lush tropical sanctuary 
of the pri 
nestled in 




ashion Heir 


ir (Simmonscourt 
scene-sters are flocking 
le bar at Moog Wine & 
(413 Bourke Street). 


"I used to be known as Tommy Perse-now I'm only known as 
James Perse's dad," says the man who delivered the eccentric 

Maxh'eld, the first high-end couture emporium, to Los Angeles in 1 969. "I spent most of my life in 
Jt store," the younger Perse says, "but I wanted nothing to do with if. I was an athlete. I wished he 
/ned a sporting-goods store." Nonetheless, James was heavily influenced by the fashion bastion. 
After graduating from an East Coast prep school in 1991, he returned to Los Angeles and 
entered the retail market by making promotional baseball caps. From there, he set his sights on 
designing the perfect body-skimming T-shirt. Made of butter-soft cottons, his long- and short-sleeved 
irts flew off shelves. His clientele begged for a more extensive line, and he delivered with an 
ray of sweat suits, pants, jackets, and the perfect little black dress. Today, his three labels-James 
rse, James Perse Standard, and Baby James— are sold in his flagship store, on Melrose 
'enue across the street from Maxfield, and at stores such as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. 
This month he opens two new stores, one in Malibu and the other in New York's West Village, 
./hile his clothes embody the Southern California lifestyle, his new outerwear line— made up of 
great cashmere and wool-blend sweaters and pants, and a spectacular version of the military 
peacoat-will appeal to the apres-ski set. "It shows that we can move in different d 
while keeping our feel and sensibility," explains Perse. 

MA DREAMIN' James Perse, photographed in Malibu on February 25, 2005. 

96 | VANITY FAIR ! www 

MAY 200 


♦ # ♦ # ♦ 


npredictable. unorthodox, unruly, unnerv- 

M ing. uncompromising, and not a moment 

^^^^^^^W too soon: this month, intense, heavy rock 

makes a welcome comeback. 
Well worth the five-year wait, Nine Inch Nails' With Teeth is a 
masterpiece from Trent Reznor— with strong, intimate vocals and 
powerful new songs that range from sexy gospel mini-symphonies 
to breathless nonstop hard-core. System of a Down is back with 
the Rick Rubin-produced Mezmerize, re- 
plete with wild Armenian wailing, a furi- 
ous vengeance, and the band's trademark 
persona. Audioslove's new one takes riff- 
rock to extremes with the unbeatable in- 
terplay of Chris Cornell's vocals and Tom 
Morello's guitar. 

Fire Wire: Lucinda Williams's two-CD 
Live at the Fillmore is the first-ever live 
recording from one of our greatest talents. 
Bleed Like Me is a well-crafted modern 
rock album from Garbage with inspired singing from 
the divine Shirley Manson. The ever evolving Robert Plant 
includes his beloved Eastern musical influences and a 
rollicking tribute to Ray Charles on Mighty Rearranges 
Sleater-Kinney's tough fuzztone-guitar heroics shine 
on The Woods. The Raveonettes channel Roy Orbison 
and the Ronettes on the echo-filled, retro-rockabilly Pretty 
in Black. Danger Mouse teams up with Gorillaz leader 

Damon Albarn on the beat-laden Demon Days. Aerosmith gu| 
ace Joe Perry's eponymous solo disc is bluesy and rocki 
The lyrics to "We Are All on Drugs" make for a fun anthem| 
Weexer's catchy new Make Believe. 

Shuffle mode: For the slightly more faint of heart, Col 
play is Roxy Music— without the noir— for a new gene| 
tion (also without the noir), and X&Y features lots of the 
Chris Martin-penned dreari 
romantic, signature piano bl 
lads. Eels leader Mark 01i\| 
Everett spent years finishing t 
somber Blinking Lights and 0\ 
er Revelations. Michael Penn's Mr. Hollywood Jr., 194/ 
haunting and gorgeous. Aimee Mann releases what she cl 
scribes as a "soundtrack to a movie only I've seen"— the J^ 
Henry-produced concept album The Forgotten Arm. Ami, 
ing, provocative, and smart, Loudon Wainwright III 
21st album is Here Come the Choppers. Passionate vocd 
mark Martha Wainwright's self-titled debut disc. On tl| 
solo Something to Be, distinctive vocalist and hitmaker R< 
Thomas showcases talents not previously heard with Matc| 
box Twenty. Following Tlie Rising— his passionate response 
9/11— Bruce Springsteen releases the mostly acoustic, no lei 

passionate, early-Dylanesq J 
CD and DVD, Devils & Dustl 
Fast-forward: Watch for moij 
funkified fun from the Bla< 
Eyed Peas; Don't Believe th\ 
Truth from Oasis; Rebel, Swei 
heart from the Wallflower 
R&B powerhouse Faith Evans 
Tlie First Lady; Eddie Palmier 
Listen Here!; and new recorc 
from Shelby Lynne, Mari 
McKee, Nilclca Costa, Fat Jo. 
Jamiroquai, Perla BatalU 
Glen Phillips, and Maria 

Previous/Rewind: The Rollinc 

Stones re-release the long-out 

of-print Made in the Shade anc 

Sucking in the Seventies. Legacy' 

Jazz Moods series reissues Che 

Baker, Louis Armstrong, Artie Shaw, anc 

others. Live at the Continental: Best of NYC, 

Vols. I & //features Jesse Malin, Joey 

Ramone, the Lunachicks, Lenny Kaye, and 

others. Billie Holiday: The Ultimate Collection 

is a career-spanning DVD-and-two-CD set 

And the Live from Las Vegas series brings us 

Bobby Darin recorded in 1963 at the 

Flamingo, Dean Martin recorded in 1967 at 

the Sands, and Frank Sinatra recorded in 1986 at 

the Golden Nugget. 

When you've loved and lost the way Frank has, 
then you know what life's about. 

From top: Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor; Shirley Manson, 
of Garbage; System of a Down; Lucinda Williams's 
Live at the Fillmore album. 



MAY 2005 


The new Jetta. 

It's all grown up. 



Sort of. Drivers wanted! CW/J 



Seven years into her reign as queen of New York City 
nightlife, club owner Amy Sacco is getting back to her 
roots. "This whole club thing," says Sacco, "was an accident. 
My background is restaurants." From the age of 1 3, the New 
Jersey native worked as a maTtre d', a coat-check girl, and an 
undoubtedly sassy hostess in four-star restaurants such as Bouley, 
Jean Georges, and Vong. But this month she'll open the doors to 
Bette, her very own fine-dining establishment, located in Chelsea's 
London Terrace Towers and named after her 75-year-old mother. 
"My mother cooked for a family of eight, and dinner at the 

family table was always the 
highlight of my day. It was 
therapy through food and 
family." (This may be why 
eight is her lucky number 
and graces the name of her 
super-hot-spot Bungalow 8.) 
Sacco describes her new 
venture as "a more feminine 
Oak Room," referring to 
the austere and fabled bar 
at the Plaza Hotel. Bette will have intimate lighting, a color palette 
of chocolate, aubergine, olive, and lavender, and cozy table 
seating. (Large parties are not encouraged.) The menu, overseen 
by chefs Tom DiMarzo and Arlene Jacobs, both Jean Georges 
veterans, will offer basics with a twist, such as dry-roasted calamari 
with herbs, chili-rubbed steak with olive-oil mashed potatoes, 
six different salads, lasagna a la king, truffle-oil French fries, and, 
for dessert, Baked Alaska and cherry potpie. A proper English tea, 
called Bette's Tease, will be served in the afternoon. "This is 
a grown-up restaurant," says Sacco. "If people come here looking 
for bar service and a DJ., they're not gonna find it." And with only 
85 seats, Bette is certain to be a tough reservation to get. 


merican Hopscotch 

Diana Vreeland, 

The United States has often been rendered most astutely by enlif 
ened outsiders: Tocqueville, Hitchcock, Alistair Cook*. For I 
past 40 years one such canny picaroon has been in our 
Scotsmon and V.F. contributor Harry Benson (o U.S. citizen sir 
N 1999), the former Fleet Street lensman exemplar who he I 
on to become one of his adopted 
land's foremost photojournalists. 
In his new book, Harry Benson's 
America (Abrams), the man who 
has photographed every president 
since Eisenhower offers a collec- 
tion of extraordinarily perceptive— 
and rarely seen— images of grand 
Yankees in all their glory: buoyant 
(French-born American Diana 
Vreeland, all aglow, at right), spir- 
itual (Ethel Kennedy and family 
praying), tacky (Donnyand Marie 
Osmond downing burgers), and valiant (a Kuwait-bound Gener 
Norman Schwarikopf). Come climb into this front-row seat 
watch the American parade. — oavid frien 




Visionary Quest 


She was the first of her kind, a conceptual artist, a visionary 
with the sharpest of eyes; Elaine Sturtevant's works of art are 
appropriations, clones, replicas challenging notions of 
originality and authorship. In the early 1960s she did what she doe-i 
with each artist's approval— Andy Warhol gave her the screens 
to make her Warhol Flowers— but all too quickly the artists were 
threatened. "She was driven out," says filmmaker John Waters. "Sh<. 
did everything before anybody, and she didn't get the proper credit. 
This is her moment, long overdue. What she's doing is beyond Pop 
it's so original, it's still alarming." Now 74 and working in Paris, 
where she's lived since 1990, Sturtevant says, "At the time the work 
was done, it was too far from any frame of reference. The Abstract 
Expressionists were all about emotion, and the Pop artists all surface 
That got me into thinking. What's underneath?" Her exploration of j 
the intellectual underside was fierce, radical, and terrifying for the 
public and the critics. "It's simple but complicated: taking an object] 
distancing it, elaborating on it, presenting what it is not— it is not 
a Stella, not a Johns," she explains. "It is a great leap from content or| 
image to concept." This spring Sturtevant will have exhibitions at 
New York's Perry Rubenstein Gallery and in Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, at M.I.T's List Visual Arts Center. "She is a thinking | 
machine," says dealer Perry Rubenstein. "Courageous and brilliant, 
she is as important as she is provocative." —A. M. HOMES| 

• 5 



DEJA VU Sturtevant's Warhol appropriations, both titled Warhol Flowers, 1990. 









Kung Fu Fever 


It's hard not to love a film that features top-hatted gangsters 
dancing like a chorus line of Fred Astaires partnered with 
axes instead of canes. It's even harder not to love a movie in 
which, during a climactic duel, a martial-arts adept is heard 
to gasp, "What? The toad style of the Kwan Lun School?" To which 
another observer can only reply, as would we, "Oh no!" Kung Fu 
Hustle, an overstuffed, charmingly ludicrous saga of 
murder and revenge in which even curler-wrapped 
harridans have martial-arts tricks hidden up their 
housedress sleeves, was written and directed by, 
and also stars, Stephen Chew. An established 
box-office draw in Hong Kong, with more than 
50 films under his belt, he has only recently be- 
come widely known in the U.S., thanks to Mira- 
max's release two years ago of Sfiaolin Soccer, 

an agreeable but crude movie compared with Kung Fu Hustle, which rep- 
resents a great leap forward. Like Jackie Chan, Chow specializes in phys- 
ical comedy. Unlike Chan, his greatest gifts aren't as a performer (think 
less Buster Keaton and more Matthew Perry) but as a director. Intoxi- 

cated with film itself in the exuberant, infectious manner of early Spielberg 

Behind the Lens 

Trend alert: 

TEAM STRATEGY Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, and Adam Sandler in The Longest Yard. 


Master cinematographer and longtime activist Haskell Wexler has always had 
a reputation for being a pain in the ass. He's won two Oscars in a dazzling ca- 
reer that includes Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. American Graffiti, and 
Bound for Glory. His Medium Cool, set during the violence of Chicago's 1968 Demo- 
cratic convention, is a counterculture classic. 

But behind the scenes in Hollywood, Wexler remains a moody, irascible character with 
a big attitude problem. He explains: "'I don't think there's a movie I've worked on that I 
wasn't sure I could direct better." 

He has met his match in his good-natured, gentle (but actually strong-as-steel) son, 
Mark S. Wexler, a photojournalist who spent 18 months training his camera on his father. The result: a compelling documentary called Tell Them 
Wlxo You Are (ThinkFilm). It's an overview of a great artist's life as well as the powerful story of a father and son struggling to connect. 

In the film the two men bicker endlessly. At one point Haskell refuses to sign a release, but Mark keeps on flooding the screen with a wild array 
of images and styles— home movies, newsreel footage, and vintage-film clips. 

The movie deepens as it progresses. Fast-paced interviews with Sidney Poirier, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Julia Roberts, and Jane Fonda 
segue into an intensely emotional incident where Haskell visits his second ex-wife (Mark's mother). Marian, who is in the final stages of Alzheimer's, 
and he breaks down. 

It's a beautifully modulated sequence, one of many in this fine movie (edited by Robert DeMaio). In the end Mark Wexler captures his father's vulnerability 
and his bravery, which until now had been stubbornly hidden behind a mask of edgy, tragic complexities. (Rating: •••• ) —Patricia bosworth 

1 02 


MAY 2005 



'A 1 

New York • Miami • Chicago • Dallas • San Francisco • Atlanta • 800.426.3088 • 



Leslie Feist, photograph' 
Paris on February 19, 2C 

Let's Get It On 


Her roots are in punk, her name sounds like a German met- 
al band, and the title of her latest album is Let It Die, but 
don't get the wrong impression about Feist. This 29-year- 
old Canadian expat (real name. Leslie Feist) would rather 
kill us softly with her songs— and with a one-in-a-million voice that 
evokes both Astrud Gilberto's sexy cool and Billie Holiday's lan- 
guorous quaver. Released to acclaim in Europe and Canada last year, 
Let It Die makes its U.S. debut this month, just in time to become the 
summer soundtrack for breaking up, making up, and just plain making 
out. Complemented by a Brill-Building-meets-Brasil-'66 sound— the 
work of Renaud Letang. and longtime collaborator Jason "Chilly Gonzales" Beck— Feist's sophomore solo CD travels that well-worn path from n 
love euphoria to the moment when, she says, •"there's no more sweet next to the bitter." Hence, the title. " "Let it die' is a chameleon phrase.'' she 
plains. "It can be used as an encouragement or as a reprimand." A chameleon herself, Feist still gets her ya-yas out as part of atmospheric-rock collec 
Broken Social Scene, and just a few years ago she could be found rapping in Spanish through a sock puppet as part of her former roomm 
Peaches' bawdy electroclash shtick-hop spectacles. These days Paris is home, where she has come to the attention of Jane Birkin (they've recrj 
ed a duet) and a media intent on making her an indie-rock sex symbol. "I'm up for it," she says with a laugh, "[though] it doesn't change what 
pajamas look like. They're still an old pair of waffle[-weave] long underwear and an oversize T-shirt." —frank digiaco 


John Wigmore, photographed 

at his studio in Long Island City on 

February 22, 2005. 

IF ^ 

Light Bright 


rt collectors with an appreciation for Minimalist design covet 
the light sculptures created by 34-year-old John Wigmore. 
. Seen most recently in New York City galleries, the ethereal 
pieces, constructed of Japanese paper and stainless-steel rods, define 
an interior space with ambient luminescence and shadow. His latest 
work, currently on display in the American Pavilion V.I. P. suite— a 5,000- 
square-foot area designed by Thorn Filicia-at the 2005 World 
Expo, in Aichi, Japan, consists of five horizontal pieces ranging from 
7 to 1 5 feet long. "He's a great, young American artist working in an in- 
teresting medium," says Filicia, who saw Wgmore's work at a friend's 
house five years ago, immediately fell in love with it, and has been 
commissioning him for projects ever since. Wigmore seems to be fol- 
lowing in the tradition of American Minimalism exemplified by artist 
Donald Judd, whose interest in form and material extended from 
the purely aesthetic to interior design. Judging by Wgmore's impres- 
sive client list-it includes Peter Jennings, Tom Hanks, and Gwyneth 
Parrrow-thts direction has served him well. As for the future, Wig- 
>ays he will continue to "create an experience where the Mini- 
es through and to test my own limits." -KATIE SHARER 

Sportswriting Superstar 


It has been 33 years 
since Washington, D.C., 

had itself a baseball 

team. But when the new 

Washington Nationals 

took the field on April 1 4, 

it had been 81 years 

since the city had 

had a baseball team 

without Shirley Povich 

writing about it for The 

Washington Post. No sportswriter, newspaper, and community we 

ever so integrally or enduringly intertwined. 

Now baseball's return to the nation's capital has offered the per 

occasion to commemorate Povich, who died in 1 998. On April 5, 

PublicAffairs published a collection of his columns, called All Those 

Mornings ... at the Post, edited by his three children, Lynn, David, 

Maury, along with George Solomon 

the Post. Continuing the filial labor of lov 

Maury Povich took part in a 90-minute 

documentary on the senior Povich's life, 

aired on ESPN on April 1 1. 

Povich's collected columns reflect the < 
Ripken Jr.Hike durability of someone wl 
not only covered Lou Gehrig's farewe 
address in 1 939 but also saw Ripken bre« 
Gehrig's record for consecutive games 5< 
years later. They also capture Povich's 
incredible range of acquaintances, his wit* 
and his humanity. "There's a couple of mil 

dollars worth of baseball talent on the loose," he wrote in one dispatcr 

from 1939, eight years before Jackie Robinson broke into major 

league baseball. "Only one thing is keeping them out of the big leagui 

the pigmentation of their skin." -david MARGOl' 


Above, right, Joe DiMaggio, Povich, and Yogi Berra in the Yankees dugout, 1963; 
above, /eft, Baltimore Orioles star Ripken honors Povich's 75 years at the Post, 1997. 

















Jeremy Abrams and Brandon Creed, 
photographed in New York on March 2, 2005. 

Mix Masters 


Who hasn't fantasized about putting together the best-music-of-all-timsj 
CD? You know, the kind that all your friends ask you to burn for the 
If the only things standing in your way have been time, technological i 
and music resources. Brandon Creed and Jeremy Abrams, the 27-year-old co-founc 
of Audiostiles, a music-styling service for iPods, other digital music players, and CDs. 
are here to do it for you. "It's a practical, personal D.J. service," which customizes 
playlists for "people who don't have the time to learn about new music," says Abran I 
Audiostiles' managing director. The company puts music compilations together for 
clients such as the Four Seasons Hotels, Frederic Fekkai's salons, Daniel Bouluj 
restaurants, and the Exhale spas. The 
personal-client aspect of the business 
began "when friends started asking me to 
make mixes for them," says Abrams. Word 
got around, and now anyone can have 
access to Audiostiles' library of music. 
Prices begin at S35 per customized- 
programming hour (plus S 15 for music 
downloads). And the process is simple: 
log on to, fill out a 

questionnaire regarding your musical tastes, send over your iPod. and in three to five days you'll have 
your very own fully programmed music machine. It's all sweetly reminiscent of the days of mixed 
tapes— like the ones your best friend made for you in high school. Roxy Music, anyone? — dany le\t 

Spoons Full of Sugar 


poon's 2002 album, Kill the Moonlight was the sort of crackerjack rock record 
that reaches every conceivable benchmark of pop-culture cool— from NPR to The 
O.C. It was so good that the band even got a call from a bigwig at Elektra 
Records wanting to talk business— despite the fact that the label had dropped the 
band just a few years before. After one album for Elektra, in 1998, Spoon eventually 
hooked up with the tiny outfit Merge Records. Two acclaimed efforts later, they return this 
month with Gimme Fiction, their best work yet. It's guitar rock dense with actual grooves— 
as if Elvis Costello had been weaned on Prince rather than Paul McCartney. Lead 
singer and songwriter Britt Daniel's attention to rhythm and melody is so precise, it's al- 
most academic; O.C. cre- 
ator and Spoon fan Josh 
Schwartz says the sound 
has a "smart edge." But it's 
also pleasantly relaxed, 
the result of Daniel's easy- 
does-it style. "Songwriting 
is a mindfuck," says Daniel. 
"When you're doing it ev- 
ery day, it's really about 
getting lucky, finding the 
right frame of mind to get 
something creative to come 
out. I'd sit on my couch and 
go, Am I gonna get lucky 

Eric Harvey, Josh Zarbo 
Britt Daniel, and Jim 
Eno in Austin, Texas, 


Hustle & Flow, co-produced by 
Singleton, was the most hyped 
at this year's Sundance Film Fe 
The story of a Memphis pimp '.. . 
dreams of becoming a successful rap- 
per won the Audience Award and 
was sold for an impressive $9 mil 
Currently, Singleton, who ear 
best-director and best-original- 
screenplay Oscar nominations £ - 
his 1991 feature-film debut, B _ 
N the Hood, is directing Four 
Brothers, starring Mark Wahlberg, 
Andre 3000, and Tyrese Gibson. 
Herewith, his 1 1 favorite download- 
ed songs . . . 

"Still Water (Love)"-FourTops 
"The Look of Love"— Isaac Hayes 
"Dancing Machine"— Jackson 5 
"I Just Gotta Have You"— Kashif 
"Drop It Like It's Hot"-Snoop Dogg 
"Lady Cab Driver"— Prince 
"I Can't Go for That" 

—Hall and Oates 
"Aqua Boogie" 
"New York"-Ja Rule 
"Deacon Blues" 
—Steely Dan 
"Fire and Desire" 
—Rick James 


VANITY FAIR www.vonilyfocr com 

MAY 2 a 

■*K^ ■» 







Lipstick Bobbi Brown 


by Pat Wexler 

Perfume/cologne Vetiver, by Guerlain 

Mascara SUE Devitt Shampoo KeraSTASE 

Hair product NONE Toothpaste Crest 

Soap L' Atelier du Savon 

Nail-polish color 


"esignerTory Burch's 

classic clothing line dazzles 

with unexpectedly vivid colors, 

patterns, and bohemian 

flair. Her eponymous label, 

Tory by TRB, is evocative 

of a lifestyle ripe with 

travel, sophistication, and 

tailored glamour. She also 

designs jewelry, shoes, 

and accessories— available at 

her Nolita flagship store— 

and this month her collection 

will debut at her new 

boutique, on Robertson 

Boulevard in L.A. Herewith, 

her favorite things . . . 


Jeans Habitual Sneakers Hog 
Underwear Hanky PanKY 
Watch Cartier T-shirt Trun» 

Day bag "Clover" Tory by 


Evening bag Antique gold 

Blossoming Beauty 


Yael Alkalay prefers to leave the skin-deep part to other beauty 
companies. Red Flower, her five-year-old line, focuses on 
generating the kind of glow that can come only from with- 
in. Her range of floral candles, body-care products, and teas com- 
bine great packaging with great intentions, the headily scented 
result of the 36-year-old Columbia Business School grad's years in 
product development for Calvin Klein and Shiseido and her quest 
for quiescence, "the state of quiet mindfulness and devotion to 
oneself, to life." Every item has both a sense of place (the flowers 
she uses are named for their place of origin, from Egyptian chamomile 
to North American lilac) and generosity (candles are topped with dried 
flowers that can be sprinkled in the tub, and round soaps, shaped to stim- 
ulate circulation, come with porce- 
lain dishes). Even her store, in Nolita, 
is designed as a hangout spot rather 
than another sleek boutique, a place 
to sip mate tea and leave your mark 
on the postmodern totem pole. Her 
newest offering is Hammam. an at- 
home, detoxifying bathing ritual 
based on historic Middle Eastern treat- 
ments. The Golden Door, in Boulder, 
and Cameras, in Napa Valley, will also 
offer the treatments. "Being connect- 
ed to real things that are true and last- 
ing is a unique feeling," Alkalay says 
of her perspiration inspiration. "You 
can't invent a thousand years of ex- 
perience." — CHRISTINE ML'HLKE 

iy, photographed in her store, in New York, on March I, 2005. 


Choose your own 
adventure with Estee 
Lauder's collection 
of eight Graphic 
Color EyeShadow 
Quads.... SK-II 
Facial Clear Solution 

hydrates skin without creating oily 
shine. . . . Z, the new fragrance from 

Ermenegildo Zegna, embodies the modern 
man. . . . Don't leave home without La Mer's 
Miraculous Beginnings Collection, an 
assortment of products complete with a chic 
travel case. . . . Pamper and 
perfume your skin with Frederic 
Malle's new line of scented 



V A N • * *! f A I R 

vw vonitylair con 


Must be something in the water. 

What makes us attractive? Is it how we look, or how we feel? 

Maybe a bit of both. That's where Evian comes in. 

Every drop of Evian comes from deep in the heart of the French Alps. 

It's naturally filtered for over 15 years through pristine glacial rock 

formations. The result is a neutral pH balance and a unique blend of 

minerals, including calcium, magnesium and silica. 

So when you choose a bottled water to believe in, consider the source 

evian. your natural source of youth"" 



Tina Fey 


^^^^ l in< 

w*- ^B When Mars is in your midheaven. your career is what drives 
^P^jB you- Either you decide to make something of yourself and 
^^ get off your butt, or an authority figure, often in the form of a 
cafTeine-crazed man. comes around and kicks it for you. This transit hits at 
an odd time, because at the moment you need to gain some distance from 
professional politics as a way of refreshing yourself, injecting some creativity 
back into your work, and maybe even discovering the meaning of life. 
Ironic, isn't it? Right now the thing that makes you nervous is relaxation. 

Anne Hathaway 


If everyone were to stand in the street as you go by and was 
you in acknowledgment of how overworked and underpaid I 
are, would you then finally stop moaning about your exhaustion 
get back to work? The conjunction of the sun. the moon. Venus, and thJ 
moon's north node in your 6th house may not be glamorous, but it'll keepl 
healthy and off the streets over the next several months. With the exceptio f 
your secret little side trips, this is a time to produce, so roll up your sleeve | 
wear something that doesn't show stains. It's that simple. 


^^H^^ Isadora Duncan 

ML J^B Despite any illusions you may have, you're not playing a romantic 
^X ~ lead this month. Instead, you have to be the open-minded 
^- friend to all. free from clinging 

attachments. That would be easy, except 

that when planets in opposing squares are 

clustered around your solar 8th house, you can 

become either very creative or very morbid. 

To avoid compromising your privacy, let's just say it depends on w hether 

you find an outlet for the sexual tension that's been building up inside you. 

SAGITTARIUS nov. 22-dec. 21 

Eli Whitney 




©Ringo Starr 
Congratulations. You've just about completed a transit of Saturn 
through your sign. While it's been sheer torture some of the time. 
\ ou've shown that you can take on seemingly impossible tasks and 
do them damned well. Although you'd probably love to run off someplace 
where cell phones don't work, at the moment you are needed right where you 
are. In fact, this could be one of the most successful moments of your entire life, 
and God help anyone who dares to get in your way. One other thing: during 
such periods people often either gain or lose about a hundred pounds. 

LEO JULY 23-AUG. 22 

Jeff Gordon 

You've got to hand it to the pioneers of this world who 
courageously go carving their way through pathless jungles, 
crossing roadless mountains, and pushing themselves beyond all 
human endurance to explore new scenes and create a new life. Right now. 
with an eclipse in your 9th house dumping out into your 6th. you are 
joining their ranks, even if the thought of change makes you sick. You are 
heading into uncharted territory without a Sherpa to guide you or hold 
your hand. The first step is hard, though. It involves leaving the house. 




W^ Jf Virgos often try to pass themselves off as transcendent masters 
^^LO of the mind, as if they 've evolved way beyond the instinctual. 
| hormone-induced needs for love and passion the rest of us have to 
cope with in ourselves and in those we care about. You may as well 
can that image this minute. With your 8th house all aflutter, and a T square 
emptying into your 5th. you can kiss your rational pretensions good-bye. 
Artistically, you're exploding with creativity, and even if you're not the 
hottest tamale this side of the border, at least you're more sexually honest. 


Liev Schreiber 


Despite the fuss you make about your independence, you're 
not a loner. Get that through your head right now and we'll all 
be a lot happier. The eclipse in your 7th house and the outlet of 
the T squaic in your 4th both suggest that you are attracted to aggressive 
people, but resent them when they try to control you or, worse, go off and 
■n't include you. You've also got father issues up the 
in crazy or wrong to feel conflict over all that. Just don't 
d you'll be on the road to happiness— or at least recovery. 

It's party time. Sort of. A new moon with Venus in your solar 5th 
house lets you enjoy life a little and even find true love, provided 
y ou can exchange some freedom for 
honest intimacy . It also demands that you 
connect better with your kids (if you have an 
whether it cramps your style or not— especi: 
if you have an odd itch to run around with 
friends and avoid getting close. Besides, since you're into making mon 
there won't be any dancing on a table with a lampshade on your head. 

- Katie Couric 

■» *wj( Relation; 

V S 7 *M dragging 
"» ^ be lone b 


Relationship issues and legal concerns that have been 
dragging on for months are finally being resolved, and it w 
be long before Saturn gets out of your 7th house, leaving y 
free to make a move without having to wait for somebody else's signatui 
The stress at home in these final weeks of the transit could be intense, 
however, since a T square is forming all around your sign. While many 
astrologers favor this sort of planetary aspect as a sign of high creative 
energy, others would take one look at the chart and murmur "Oy." 


Troy Donahue 

Mars rising could conceivably explain why you don't have a 
minute to spare for contemplation or prayer, but how do you 
expect to catch your breath if you don't take time out from the 
absolutely insane schedule you've set for yourself? It's hard to describe th 
current planetary configurations occurring in your solar chart. On the oi 
hand, you can't stand being out in public at all. On the other, you can't st 
zooming around town as if you had to contact everybody you ever knew 
before the clock strikes midnight for the last time. 

Diane Arbus 


Sensitive nightingale that you are, would you please start payii 
attention to the bottom line so that everyone can see that you 
have a head for business as well as a soul for art? That is the 
secret to success now. and probably for the rest of the year. The solar eclipse 
in your 2nd house sets you on a strictly financial path that's not really abot 
sharing and togetherness and "Here, take the bigger half of my sandwich, 
cookie." You have to find a way to reconcile your newfound, healthy hunge 
for wealth with your desire to help all sentient beings. Some trick. 


Muddy Waters ^j^^ 

ingonsuch HE, 

i you w ant \^^F ' 
my stery is 

There has to be some explanation for why you're taking on such 
an enormous challenge now. especially at a time when you want 
more freedom. One look at your solar chart and the mystery is 
solved. It must be the solar eclipse with Venus and the node, occurring at 
the same time that Mars transits your 11th house, that's making you defy 
reason (and even gravity I simply to take a fresh position and prove that you 
do have a few superpowers left. Or maybe it's just that the security you were 
once petrified to lose has finally bored you into action. 

l i<> 

.vww vanityfc-r COm 

MAY 2 • 






Jerry Seinfeld, Robin William 
Don Rickles, and Rodney 
Dangerfield yukked it up as 
guests of the late, lamented 
Johnny Carson, right. 

Stand-up comedy has hit a slump, drained of the high-wire 

juice that once dazzled on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, in Las Vegas lounges, 

and at proliferating improv clubs in the 1980s. With so many 

comics in search of a mike, why is their material increasingly bland? 

I've never wanted a man's approval 
before Johnny," Garry Shandling con- 
fesses to Jerry Seinfeld in Comedian, 
the 2002 documentary that shadows 
Seinfeld as he assembles a new stand- 
up routine from scratch and test-drives it 
in clubs that smell like gym. "Johnny" was. 
of course, Johnny Carson, whose death in 
January ended a chapter in American com- 
edy and perhaps closed the golden book 
for good. Before Carson, Ed Sullivan- 
sepulchral host of the Sunday-night CBS 
variety show that brought us the Beatles, 
Rudolf Nureyev. and Topo Gigio— func- 
tioned as the country's gatekeeper for 
stand-up comedy. Powerful and interfer- 
ing as he was. Sullivan was too much of a 
cigar-store Indian to inspire fear, awe. and 
a longing for acceptance. Sullivan was too 
grandfatherh. and could barely read a joke 
off a cue card without flummoxing himself. 
Carson was always poised, always knew 

when to pivot. Cool, unflappable, precise, 
he was comedy's blue diamond, the mod- 
el of excellence, the master practitioner. 
Under his monarchal reign. Tfie Tonight 
Show became the career-maker/breaker for 
comics, the ultimate audition— an initiation 
rite that could rocket a Freddie Prinze to 
fame or send some poor soul back to the 
minors, feeling like day-old bread. 

For his first Tonight Show appearance, 
Seinfeld trained as if he were getting ready 
to climb into the ring, jogging three or 
four miles every day and playing the theme 
from Superman to get himself psyched. 
"[It] was an opportunity that I was not go- 
ing to blow," he told interviewer Larry 
Wilde in Great Comedians Talk About Com- 
edy. The pressure of The Tonight Show 
was double-barreled. Wowing the audience 
was only half the battle. Winning Carson's 
blessing was the harder half. He didn't 
knight just anyone, no matter how large 

the studio laughter. It might take mul 
pie inspections before Johnny flashed t 
much-craved A-O.K. sign and flagged t) 
comic over to "panel" with the other gues 
(Shandling didn't get the nod until his sc 
enth appearance.) 

That power and glory are gone. "In tl 
old days, everyone worked hard to get 
Tonight Show, and when you got it. it mea: 
something when you did well," reflec 
retired personal manager Buddy Morra 
whose former firm's clients have inclu 
ed Bilh Crystal, Robin Williams, and Rol 
ert Klein— in Franklyn Aj aye's Comic It 
sights. "People got hot off of those show 
Not anymore. Today it's just an appea: 
ance." Stand-up comedy has lost its thn 
factor, its tightrope-walking tension. 

I can't recall the last time I stayed u 
past my bubble bath to catch a comedia 
on Leno. Letterman. or, God forbid, bur 
me now. Jimmy continued on page 

112 VANITY FAIR! www 


MAY 200 


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stim ed from page 112 Kimmel. Why 
ther? Those shows are worse than a 
sy campus bar. Like living Pavlovian 
gh tracks, late-night studio audiences 
'e been conditioned into being the eas- 

of easy lays, yowling at anything and 
i hing. giving Leno a routine standing O 
|t for stepping onstage, and applauding 
terman for opening and closing his jack- 
ike a car door, or honking his throat as 
le were hawking up phlegm. The shows 
• hour-long clamors, the guest comic 
t another fish tossed to the 
ined seals. 

Even the visits of 
nic vets don't up the 
tage. In heroic days 
yore, everybody I 
:w had their VCRs 
:ked when Rodney 
ngerfield was booked 

The Tonight Show: 
did a comedy twofer, 
mating buckets doing a 
nd-up bit, then patting 
iself down and opening 
econd batch of new ma 
lal in the guest seat ("John- 

I tell ya, I'm doing all right 
v, but last week . . . ") as Car- I 
i played straight man with 

lowball understatement of 
b & Ray's Wally Ballou. 
ve Martin would pre- 
e something Piran- ^^U 
lian, such as excus- tK 

himself early from 

guest chair to attend an im 
tant engagement, waving good 
: to the audience . . . only to 
am a minute later from 
lind the curtain, fake- 
ibing and admitting it was 
a lie, he had no pressing engagement, 
just wanted to make a big Hollywood 
Ik-off like Bob Hope. ("There, there," 
i Johnny, consoling him.) Jonathan Win- 
i would drop in for a surrealistic ram- 
, free-associating as if he were on his 
n front porch. It wasn't just The Tonight 
m where comedians shone. Merv Grif- 
-yes, Mervin— did regular sit-downs 
h the black comic Moms Mabley, who 
uld shuffle on in sneakers and aquama- 
i muumuu to complain that she want- 
a young man, she was tired of being 
h an old man. How old, Moms? "Old. 
ler than dirt. " Letterman, Leno, Conan 
Jrien— they can't compare as setup men. 
:terman because of the irritable apa- 
that keeps breaking to the surface, the 
;er two because they keep interrupt- 
with their own knee-jerk quips (which, 
D'Brien's case, haven't matured past au- 
latic dorky self-deprecation— after 10 
rs on the job!). 

The late-night talk show isn't the only 
comedy arena suffering from high-impact 
shrinkage. It wasn't so long ago in the bro- 
ken hourglass of time when titans stepped 
up to the microphone and packed the casi- 
no showrooms of Las Vegas. During the 
70s and early 80s, in my lone-wolf days, 
I made frequent pilgrimages to the pagan 
desert in search of healing laughter. Lus- 
trous names let- 
tered the marquees 

sipping daintily from a coffee cup. "The 
Merchant of Venom" then politely excused 
himself to answer the orchestra's fanfare 
and welcome the crowd in his inimitable 
fashion: "Thanks for coming, folks. They 
have a great show at the Hacienda tonight 
—a Mexican hung himself in the lobby." I 
caught Johnny Carson at Caesars, Bob 
Newhart at the Riviera, Shecky Greene nu- 
merous times at the MGM Grand. Greene, 
a legend among his fellow comics as the 
genius performer who never clicked with 
TV audiences, staged his Vegas comeback 
at the MGM Grand after recovering 
from a throat operation, throw- 
ing out in-jokes about Rob- 
ert Goulet and Carol Law- 
rence's recent breakup to 
the grateful laughter of 
the house band, who 
were used to sleeping 
with their eyes open 
through Dean Martin's 
rote act. 








along the Strip. Buddy Hackett, a sham- 
bling Rabelaisian whose pastrami tongue 
always seemed untucked, told stories so 
uproariously, shockingly filthy that men 
who had never blushed in their lives lit up 
red and drank lots of water. I was granted 
an audience with that snapping turtle Don 
Rickles, who delivered a dry, lofty primer 
on Comedy Technique in his dressing room, 

oday, comics rank 
lower in the Vegas 
pantheon. Extrav- 
aganzas that don't rely on 
stars dominate as crowd-pullers 
and moneymakers, with four arty, 
pseudo-psychedelic gymnastic exhibi- 
tions from Cirque du Soleil and another 
(based on the Lennon-McCartney song- 
book) in production. The exceptions are 
the spectacles built around superstar 
warblers, such as Celine Dion's psy- 
chodrama A New Day ... (as reported 
with horror in these pages by A. A. 
Gill) and Elton John's flamboyant 
flapdoodle The Red Piano, designed 
by David LaChapelle. Starry or 
starless, Vegas's tech-heavy sfx 
extravaganzas and phantasmagorias make 
comics roaming a bare stage look so last- 
century. Recently I received an e-mail flyer 
from the MGM Grand announcing up- 
coming comedy attractions at its Holly- 
wood Theatre: Howie Mandel and Carrot 
Top. I don't mean to be harshin', but Howie 
Mandel, Carrot Top? What, no Gallagher? 
That would complete the triple bill of eter- 
nal comedy nite in hell. 

The newsprint has yellowed on all those 
articles that touted comedy as the "new 
rock 'n' roll," that made stand-up seem sexy. 
That sonic boom exploded in the 80s, when 
shock comics such as Andrew Dice Clay 
and primal screamer Sam Kinison endowed 
stand-up with rock-star testosterone and 
bravura, attracting legions of horny young 
Visigoths with their heavy-metal. X-rated 
humor. Before they brought in the noise, 
nobody had ever pictured comedians with 
entourages and groupies. Instant comedy 
clubs sprouted like border-town strip joints 

Y 2 5 [ V A N I T Y FAIR j 119 




Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams 
Don Rickles, and Rodney 
Danger-field yukked it up as 
guests of the late, lamented 
Johnny Carson, right. 


Stand-up comedy has hit a slump, drained of the high-wire 

juice that once dazzled on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, in Las Vegas lounges, 

and at proliferating improv clubs in the 1980s. With so many 

comics in search of a mike, why is their material increasingly bland? 

I've never wanted a man's approval 
before Johnny," Garry Shandling con- 
fesses to Jerry Seinfeld in Comedian, 
the 2002 documentary that shadows 
Seinfeld as he assembles a new stand- 
up routine from scratch and test-drives it 
in clubs that smell like gym. "Johnny" was, 
of course, Johnny Carson, whose death in 
January ended a chapter in American com- 
edy and perhaps closed the golden book 
for good. Before Carson, Ed Sullivan- 
sepulchral host of the Sunday-night CBS 
variety show that brought us the Beatles, 
Rudolf Nureyev, and Topo Gigio— func- 
tioned as the country's gatekeeper for 
stand-up comedy. Powerful and interfer- 
ing as he was, Sullivan was too much of a 
cigar-store Indian to inspire fear, awe, and 
a longing for acceptance. Sullivan was too 
grandfatherly, and could barely read a joke 
off a cue card without flummoxing himself. 
Carson was always poised, always knew 

when to pivot. Cool, unflappable, precise, 
he was comedy's blue diamond, the mod- 
el of excellence, the master practitioner. 
Under his monarchal reign, The Tonight 
Show became the career-maker/breaker for 
comics, the ultimate audition— an initiation 
rite that could rocket a Freddie Prinze to 
fame or send some poor soul back to the 
minors, feeling like day-old bread. 

For his first Tonight Show appearance, 
Seinfeld trained as if he were getting ready 
to climb into the ring, jogging three or 
four miles every day and playing the theme 
from Superman to get himself psyched. 
"[It] was an opportunity that I was not go- 
ing to blow," he told interviewer Larry 
Wilde in Great Comedians Talk About Com- 
edy. The pressure of The Tonight Show 
was double-barreled. Wowing the audience 
was only half the battle. Winning Carson's 
blessing was the harder half. He didn't 
knight just anyone, no matter how large 

the studio laughter. It might take mi 
pie inspections before Johnny flashed 
much-craved A-O.K. sign and flagged tbfl 
comic over to "panel" with the other guestJj 
(Shandling didn't get the nod until his safl 
enth appearance.) 

That power and glory are gone. "In the 
old days, everyone worked hard to get 
Tonight Show, and when you got it, it meaDJjJ 
something when you did well," reflect 
retired personal manager Buddy Morral 
whose former firm's clients have incluA 
ed Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, and Rotfl 
ert Klein— in Franklyn Ajaye's Comic Im 
sights. "People got hot off of those show* 
Not anymore. Today it's just an appeal 
ance." Stand-up comedy has lost its thrill! 
factor, its tightrope-walking tension. 

I can't recall the last time I stayed ua 
past my bubble bath to catch a comedianl 
on Leno, Letterman. or, God forbid, bury! 
me now, Jimmy continued on page ml 

1 12 




MAY 2001 



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Denali signature chrome grille. 17" polished aluminum wheels, and integrated running boards 

Leather seating surfaces. French seam stitching, leather-wrapped & wood steering wheel and satin metallic accent 1 

Available touch-screen navigation radio includes a navigation system with a large 6.5-inch screen 

Standard Bose premium sound system • Standard OnStar with one-year OnStar Safe and Sound package 





dtinued i rom page n2 Kimmel. Why 
ther? Those shows are worse than a 
sy campus bar. Like living Pavlovian 
gh tracks, late-night studio audiences 
/e been conditioned into being the eas- 
: of easy lays, yowling at anything and 
:hing, giving Leno a routine standing O 
t for stepping onstage, and applauding 
Herman for opening and closing his jack- 
ike a car door, or honking his throat as 
le were hawking up phlegm. The shows 
k hour-long clamors, the guest comic 
t another fish tossed to the 
ined seals. 

Even the visits of 
nic vets don't up the 
tage. In heroic days 
yore, everybody I 
jw had their VCRs 
:ked when Rodney 
ngerfield was booked 
The Tonight Show. 
did a comedy twofer, 
mating buckets doing a 
nd-up bit, then patting 
itself down and opening 
econd batch of new ma 
ial in the guest seat ("John- 
I tell ya, I'm doing all right 
v, but last week . . . ") as Car- 
1 played straight man with 
! lowball understatement of t 
b & Ray's Wally Ballou. J 
ve Martin would pre- 
■e something Piran- jf%*i 
lian, such as excus- Wk*^ 
himself early from 
i guest chair to attend an im- 
"tant engagement, waving good- 
: to the audience . . . only to 
urn a minute later from 
tiind the curtain, fake- 
)bing and admitting it was 
a lie, he had no pressing engagement, 
just wanted to make a big Hollywood 
lk-off like Bob Hope. ("There, there," 
i Johnny, consoling him.) Jonathan Win- 
5 would drop in for a surrealistic ram- 
, free-associating as if he were on his 
n front porch. It wasn't just The Tonight 
m where comedians shone. Merv Grif- 
— yes, Mervin— did regular sit-downs 
h the black comic Moms Mabley, who 
uld shuffle on in sneakers and aquama- 
e muumuu to complain that she want- 
a young man, she was tired of being 
h an old man. How old, Moms? "Old. 
ier than dirt. " Letterman, Leno, Conan 
3rien— they can't compare as setup men. 
tterman because of the irritable apa- 
that keeps breaking to the surface, the 
ter two because they keep interrupt- 
with their own knee-jerk quips (which, 
O'Brien's case, haven't matured past au- 
tiatic dorky self-deprecation— after 10 
irs on the job!). 

The late-night talk show isn't the only 
comedy arena suffering from high-impact 
shrinkage. It wasn't so long ago in the bro- 
ken hourglass of time when titans stepped 
up to the microphone and packed the casi- 
no showrooms of Las Vegas. During the 
70s and early 80s, in my lone-wolf days, 
I made frequent pilgrimages to the pagan 
desert in search of healing laughter. Lus- 
trous names let- 

tered the marquees 

sipping daintily from a coffee cup. "The 
Merchant of Venom" then politely excused 
himself to answer the orchestra's fanfare 
and welcome the crowd in his inimitable 
fashion: "Thanks for coming, folks. They 
have a great show at the Hacienda tonight 
—a Mexican hung himself in the lobby." I 
caught Johnny Carson at Caesars, Bob 
Newhart at the Riviera, Shecky Greene nu- 
merous times at the MGM Grand. Greene, 
a legend among his fellow comics as the 
genius performer who never clicked with 
TV audiences, staged his Vegas comeback 
at the MGM Grand after recovering 
from a throat operation, throw- 
ing out in-jokes about Rob- 
ert Goulet and Carol Law- 
rence's recent breakup to 
the grateful laughter of 
the house band, who 
were used to sleeping 
with their eyes open 
through Dean Martin's 
rote act. 








along the Strip. Buddy Hackett, a sham- 
bling Rabelaisian whose pastrami tongue 
always seemed untucked, told stories so 
uproariously, shockingly filthy that men 
who had never blushed in their lives lit up 
red and drank lots of water. I was granted 
an audience with that snapping turtle Don 
Rickles, who delivered a dry, lofty primer 
on Comedy Technique in his dressing room, 

oday, comics rank 
lower in the Vegas 
pantheon. Extrav- 
aganzas that don't rely on 
stars dominate as crowd-pullers 
and moneymakers, with four arty, 
pseudo-psychedelic gymnastic exhibi- 
tions from Cirque du Soleil and another 
(based on the Lennon-McCartney song- 
book) in production. The exceptions are 
the spectacles built around superstar 
warblers, such as Celine Dion's psy- 
chodrama A New Day ... (as reported 
with horror in these pages by A. A. 
Gill) and Elton John's flamboyant 
flapdoodle The Red Piano, designed 
by David LaChapelle. Starry or 
starless, Vegas's tech-heavy sfx 
extravaganzas and phantasmagorias make 
comics roaming a bare stage look so last- 
century. Recently I received an e-mail flyer 
from the MGM Grand announcing up- 
coming comedy attractions at its Holly- 
wood Theatre: Howie Mandel and Carrot 
Top. I don't mean to be harshin', but Howie 
Mandel, Carrot Top? What, no Gallagher? 
That would complete the triple bill of eter- 
nal comedy nite in hell. 

The newsprint has yellowed on all those 
articles that touted comedy as the "new 
rock 'n roll," that made stand-up seem sexy. 
That sonic boom exploded in the 80s, when 
shock comics such as Andrew Dice Clay 
and primal screamer Sam Kinison endowed 
stand-up with rock-star testosterone and 
bravura, attracting legions of horny young 
Visigoths with their heavy-metal, X-rated 
humor. Before they brought in the noise, 
nobody had ever pictured comedians with 
entourages and groupies. Instant comedy 
clubs sprouted like border-town strip joints 


1 19 


as the older establishments found them- 
selves copycatted. Budd Friedman, who 
opened New York's venerable Improv in 
1963, told Ajaye in Comic Insights, "Every- 
body and his brother said, if Budd Fried- 
man can make a success of it, I can do it 
too, and they all opened comedy clubs in 
restaurants or over a bowling alley." 

Any owner with a liquor license could 
plant a mike stand under a spotlight 
in front of a fake brick wall and re- 
dub his cove Mr. Laffs, Chuckles, the 
Punch Line. Yuk-Yuks, the Funny Bone, or, 
for the more literary types, the House of 
Mirth. In cities across the country, these 
two-drink-minimum dating spots served 
as the farm system for stand-up showcases 
on syndicated TV and cable such as Fried- 
man's An Evening at the Improv, HBO's 
Women of the Night, and countless others. 
Comedy Central, founded in 1991, became 
the main hub of stand-up traffic, cram- 
ming comics into its schedule like sar- 
dines. More established stand-ups, such 
as George Carlin, Robert Klein, Sinbad, 
and Richard Lewis, smashed to a high- 
er level of exposure with their own HBO 
concerts, while others— Seinfeld, Rose- 
anne, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, Ray 
Romano— went on to achieve household 
fame in hit sitcoms, and wiseacres such 
as Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and Dennis 
Miller eventually seasoned into political 
deconstructionists and debunkers as talk- 
show hosts. Gold fever struck the industry 
in the 80s and persisted to the early 90s. 
Network scouts staked out the comedy 
clubs looking for the next Seinfeld or 
Roseanne until it seemed that every com- 
ic who fell out of the futon got a develop- 
ment deal. 

Playboy: Do you think cable TV has 
helped or hurt comedy 9 
Mac: / don't know about comedy, but 
cable ruined comedy clubs. 

—Playboy interview with Bernie Mac, 
December 2004. 

uantity degrades quality ("More will 
mean worse," to quote Kingsley Amis), 
and the stand-up scene became sat- 
urated with low-content, pale-imitation tal- 
ent as. to quote Budd Friedman again, 
"guys who should've been accountants or 
clarinet players became comedians." And 
not just them. The late Paul Zimmerman, 
a former Newsweek movie critic turned 
screenwriter, braved Letterman's old NBC 
show to perform a monologue coincid- 
ing with the release of Martin Scorsese's 
The King of Comedy, for which Zimmer- 
man had written the script, and bombed 
so badly he left scorch marks on the floor. 
An actress I slightly knew branched out 

into stand-up; the most memorable mo- 
ment of her routine: a show-and-tell bit 
where she first held up the kind of un- 
derwear men wanted her to wear (snug, 
lacy, sexy), followed by a shuddering ex- 
ample of the underwear she actually wore 
(droopy, stained, ratty-looking). With ev- 
erybody and his sock puppet getting into 
the act, the comedy surplus became self- 
cannibalizing. Comedy clubs, presaging 
the dot-com boom-and-bust of the late 
90s, virally multiplied and dissolved just 
as fast until only the strongest franchises 
survived. As the accountants returned to 
their books, the clarinetists to their reeds, 
those with a genuine vocation found them- 
selves pacing the sidewalk, fighting over 

The average working stiffs of stand-up 
comedy have become the migrant grape 
pickers of entertainment in the new millen- 
nium. Woe is their lot. The pay is lousy, the 
indignities plentiful, the opportunities for 
advancement meager. "The problem is sim- 
ple supply and demand," explained an ar- 
ticle in The Washington Post. "New York is 


crawling with stand-up talent. There are 
so many comedians that those who want 
to earn real dough hit the road. A show 
at a lounge in Chicago, for instance, can 
fetch S300. and colleges often pay several 
times that. But auditions for television 
shows and movies happen [in New York]. 
The road is a good place to earn cash, but 
a terrible place to land your big break." 
Frustrated at their peon status, comedi- 
ans banded together to form the New York 
Comedians Coalition to lobby club owners 
for better base rates. Chris Mazzilli, co- 
owner of Gotham Comedy Club, agreed 
that a raise was reasonable, but blamed 
the larger ecosystem. "From his perspec- 
tive," reported The Washington Post, "the 
real culprit is the entertainment market, 
which undervalues comedy. Cover charges 
hover around S 10 to S 16 a show, a steal 
compared with tickets to Off-Broadway 
plays, or a night of jazz." On my block, 
comedians booked at a nearby club work 
the corners on weekends handing out fly- 

ers to entice passersby into coming 1 1 
them perform later that night. They ■ 
quixotic image on cold winter night 

Economic squeeze alone doesn't 
the linty state of stand-up come 
overall dearth of vibrancy and 
tion. Economics alone seldom explain 
thing. Stand-up comedy has been s 
ing sideways, feeling its way along the 
due to a loss of internal direction, a 
off of daredevil individuality and ori 
ty. The comics who rose through va 
ville and the Borscht Belt to crack tht 
in radio, movies, and early TV were 
vendors, windup machines, always ' 
their eager-to-please personas a grini| 
shell blocking access to the person ins 
assuming there was one. As Joan Ri 
told an interviewer in the 70s, "Audiei 
nowadays want to know their comedi 
Can you please tell me one thing ahr 
Bob Hope? If you listened to his mate 
would you know the man?" 

Audiences thirsted for the flaw 
searching authenticity from comics t 
actors such as James Dean and Mar 
Brando had splayed across the mo 
screen in the 50s, revolutionizing the 
of acting with their introspective arrhj 
mia of words, gestures, silent beats. " 
comedians and sketch artists who thn 
in the atomic age— Rivers, Lenny Bru 
Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, Mort S. 
Shelley Berman, Nichols & May, each 
whom receives a chapter in Gerald Na 
man's indispensable history Seriously i 
ny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s u 
1960s— converted the stage into soapb 
pulpit, and psychiatrist's couch, flying th 
neuroses and animosities like SOS sign 
and battle flags. They set a standard 
self-disclosure and unbarred storytelli 
that would find its apotheosis in the af 
nistes of Sam Kinison and Richard Pry 
Perhaps the only comic still rolling in li 
leather thunder is Chris Rock, whose 19' 
HBO damburst. Bring the Pain, was tl 
last monologue that carried the revelat 
ry gut punch and pop-cultural charge 
Pryor's Live in Concert ( 1979). 

"If you look at the comedians from 
Jack Benny, George Burns to Newhart, 
Cosby, Seinfeld, Roseanne, by the 
time they did a series, they had done 
stand-up long enough to really learn 
about comedy. Tliey knew performing. 
Now everybody comes out, How ya doing, 
where you from?' Who cares?" 

—Buddy Morn 
quoted in Comic Insight 

What has happened to stand-up corned 
parallels what has happened to conten 
porary fiction over the last two decades 



MAY 2 

(ear Ketel One DrinKer 
lease excuse us for interrupting 
our read, but needs must. 

It's curled up into itself, withdrawn into a 
private safe house, become acutely self- 
conscious about its own processes and 
mechanisms. Just as creative-writing pro- 
grams have helped mass-produce a gen- 
eration of gifted sad sacks, droopy dicks, 
and glum martyrs mired in victim men- 
tality, comedy workshops and classes in 
stand-up have helped fine-tune the tech- 
niques and groom the confidence of com- 
ics who fundamentally have little to say 
because they've spent most of their lives 
in front of computer and TV screens, 
passive receptors. Comedy 
is losing its mimetic ear. 
Baby-boomer comics 
testify to listening 
compulsively to Bill 
Cosby's albums, 
memorizing them, 
or having the state- 
ly domes of their 
minds shattered by 
His Hipster High- 
ness Lord Buckley: 
"Hipsters, flipsters, and 
finger-poppin' daddies—" 
The comedy album as sacred 
object is a dusty relic of the hi-fi 
era. Now most adepts study tapes 
—particularly their own tapes, 
so that they can pinpoint their 
own imperfections and tweak. Com- 
ics a generation older— Robert Klein, 
a prime example— scrutinized tapes, 
but they were engaged with the 
world in a way too many younger 
comics aren't. Comedy hasn't 
evolved beyond the ironic de- 
vices and absurdist stratagems 
of the Letterman-Saturday 
Night Lrve-Conan O'Brien- Andy 
Kaufman-Seinfeld school of noncom- 
mittal snipers, put-on artists, and obser- 
vationalists. It's stuck in the fun, to steal 
a phrase from Pauline Kael. The result 
is a proficiency that leaves the lasting im- 
pression of vanishing ink. You laugh, but 
later can't remember what you laughed 
about, or anything about the comic who 
made you laugh. He/she is personality- 

base." In Comedian, the obnoxiously high- 
octane young comic Orny Adams banks 
his future and ego on destroying them at 
the Montreal comedy festival, only to do 
so-so and experience dejection. It's hard 
to feel sympathy for Adams when he falls 
off the trampoline and 
gets a boo-boo (he's suoh a 
baby). Yet it's understand- 


J^verything is micro-driven," Bernie 
Mac told Playboy in his 2004 inter- 
i view. "Hardly anyone studies the craft. 
Few have a style of their own. What used 
to make comedy so interesting to me was 
individuals who had their own style: Joey 
Bishop, Jerry Lewis, Dom DeLuise, Flip 
Wilson, Redd Foxx, Tom Dreesen, Tim 
Reid, Jackie Mason, Rodney Dangerfield. 
They went on Johnny Carson and did five- 
minute routines. Now everyone goes to 
the Aspen and Montreal comedy festi- 
vals. They have no following, no comedy 







able why this plosher is so antsy to succeed 
he always looks as if he needs to pee. 

Comedy is increasingly and exactingly a 
young person's sport. Every comic hears a 
biological clock ticking: getting booked on 
late-night talk shows (which skew to an 18- 
to-29 target demographic— their ideal audi- 
ence is in the dorm ordering out for pizza) 

becomes a tougher sell after the 
of crinkles or sag. If you haven't "ma 
by a certain unspecified age (just as, 
haven't married by a certain cutoff 
Society suspects there's something i 
ceptibly wrong with your sorry ass 
^^^__ and traction are of the ess 
From the evidence in Com* 
Adams— pace Bernie Mac 
no real fans, no supportivi 
work of fellow comics ( 
wonder: he's as surly ant 
centered as Stephen Boyd in The Os 
he has only his talent and will to succ 
and it takes more than vorat 
willpower to conqu 

I don't want to i 
a funeral proce; 
here. Flashe 
lightning cont 
to strike. Mario i 
tone, in his Broao 
one-man show, Lc 
Whore (recorded f 
Showtime special). 
Kathy Griffin, in her 
vo cable special, The D-i 
giddily roast showbiz p 
nies and basket cases in a 
fire of the vanities. Dave Chappe 
show on cable's Comedy Central is 
wickedest sketch comedy since In Li\ 
Color. The supporting cast of Larry Dav 
Curb Your Enthusiasm is a murderer's i 
of stand-up comedians— Jeff Garlin, Si 
Essman, Richard Lewis, Cheryl Hin 
Shelley Berman— cutting loose in chai 
ter roles with killer instinct. Marc Ma 
and Janeane Garofalo have helped bo 
the fortunes of liberal radio network / 
America, though to be frank Janeane sea 
me in person, especially her tattoos. I 
spite its ebbs and flows, stand-up comd 
is a constantly renewable resource becai 
honesty is a scarce commodity in a pol 
cal and popular culture encrudded with ( 
phemisms, pretense, and hype— and stan 
ups are the most honest eyewitnesses 
the dock. Neurotic as they may be, th 
have the healthiest relationship with rea 
ty, because, psychologically, they perfor 
in the raw. They can't afford not to be 
direct contact with the prickly truth. U 
like actors and musicians, they can't hie 
behind costumes, scripts, theatrical p 
rotechnics, retakes, overdubs, or safety : 
numbers. They're onstage alone, exposet 
their self-esteem always out there hanging- 
as keen as jungle cats to every quiver of a| 
proval or hostility from the audience, e) 
periencing the shadow of death wheneve 
they bomb. Who knows, one of those gu> 
or gals handing out flyers on my corno 
may be the next comedy savior. All it take 
is one. □ 


MAY 2 00 

Distinctive and 
dazzling character... 

Radiant, intriguing and unashamedly 

feminine. The creativity of precious 

jewellery combined with the perfection 

of fine watchmaking. The epitome of 

style, elegance and true character. 

He] uoui e xhec tat 


Fashion Island-Newport Beach 


The Week of Living 

If the awards show itself fell flat, the author found plenty of entertainment 
in Oscar-week L.A. as even Michael Eisner and Liz Taylor made 
the scene. After KF.'s epic bash, it was on to a Law & Order surprise, the end 
of a bitter dispute, and Robert Blake's courtroom stunner 



t sounds braggy to keep saying it 

year after year, but Vanity Fair's Os- 
car party remains the No. 1 stellar 

event on Hollywood's night of nights. 

For those of us who like a little 

glamour in life's mix, it is the dream 

party come true, an olio of the fa- 
mous, the rich, and the beautiful, intermingling and enjoying one 
another. It starts with a dinner for 150 at Mortons restaurant, 
which is always decorated beautifully, and continues with an after- 
dinner bash, when the back wall of the restaurant is opened onto 
a giant tent and 1,000 stars and celebrities come pouring in until 
the wee hours of the morning. 

Every day during the week leading up to the awards, I attended 
the Robert Blake murder trial, in Van Nuys, where I hadn't been 


V.F. executive literary editor 

Wayne Lawson and the diarist, in the 

midst of the Oscar party, 

read that the New York Post has 

erroneously declared The Aviator 

the year's big winner. 

since the trial of the Menendez brothers, in 199' 
but every night I was out on the town. I'll get t 
the closing arguments and outcome of the Blak 
trial in a paragraph or two, but first I want to fir 
ish describing the festivities taking place befor 
the Academy Awards. The week began with 
retrospective of the work of sculptor Roben 
Graham, who is married to the amazing actress Anjelica Huston, ii 
the gigantic Ace Gallery, on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills 
That exhibition brought out the entire art and movie communitj 
and put it in a celebratory mood. Then Larry Gagosian filled /it 
gallery— and later Mr. Chow— with a show of the work of the 
painter Richard Price. It was a week of nightly dinner parties, win 
separate cocktail parties before and drinks parties afterward. Oj 
Friday night, ICM superagent Ed Limato gave his annual tented al 



MAY 200 

e's one language everyone understands. 


• ' 




My gold treat, India 

speak gold com 


fair, where I had a spirited conversation with Alexander Payne, the 
director and co-author of Sideways, one of the five films nominated 
for best picture of the year. At the Sunday ceremonies he would 
win an Oscar for the screenplay. We talked about his success and 
new fame, and a few days later he faxed me an article that Ten- 
nessee Williams had written on the subject after he shot to public at- 
tention with Tlie Glass Menagerie in 1944. Also on Friday evening, 
CAA executive Bryan Lourd gave a party that rivaled Limato's, 
and Tom Ford, who had left his position as chief designer of Guc- 
ci in Rome to become a Hollywood film director, gave a late-night 
housewarming party for friends at his new home, a fabulous 50s 
house on a mountainside in Bel Air. On Saturday the long spell of 
rain stopped and the skies cleared for Barry Diller and Diane von 
Furstenberg's yearly picnic lunch for V.F. editor in chief Graydon 
Carter and several hundred other names. The scene of the picnic is 
always a sight to behold— impeccable lawns and beautiful people 
sitting at picnic tables or lounging on carpets strewn on the grass, 
everyone wearing dark glasses and kissing on both cheeks, usually 
with the greeting "Hi, darling." There I ran into Michael and Jane 
Eisner for the first time since the Disney trial in Delaware. Eisner 
has been getting his lumps in a big way, and it hurts to be bashed 

who spoke so quietly in his closing argument that the judg^ 
to ask him twice to speak up, convinced the jury that this 
weak case, built largely on the testimony of two former stur 
who had once been heavy drug users. No eyewitnesses, b| 
or DNA evidence linked Blake to the crime, and the mif 
weapon could not be traced to him. The jury deliberate! 
nine days before delivering a verdict, 
v I know this must sound strange coming from someoil 
avidly pro-prosecution as I am, but I am delighted with th| 
quittal of Robert Blake. 

One afternoon during my time in Los Angeles, GraJ 
Carter and I signed copies of Oscar Night at Saks Fiftlj 
enue on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Graydonl 
written the foreword and I the afterword to the book. A I 
crowd showed up for the book signing, and we sold nearly el 
copy in the store. I saw people I hadn't seen in years, even si 
from Four Star Television, a studio owned by David Niven, Chf 
Boyer, and Dick Powell, where I was a vice president during 
60s. I was particularly moved to meet up with Art Gardner, 
of the big television producers of the 60s and 70s, who ere] 

No eyewitnesses, blood, or DNA evidence linked Blake to the crii 

publicly, no matter how tough 
or powerful you are. I admired 
them for being out and about. 
They didn't work the lawn- 
people came to them. We had 
a warm encounter, and that 
doesn't always happen when I 
come across people I've written 
about in courtroom situations. 

I was at the Robert Blake trial 
for the closing arguments, 
and I met Blake's daughter 
Delinah, who is the adop- 
tive mother of his daugh- 
ter Rosie, by his murdered 
wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. 
Delinah was pregnant, 
and one day I had lunch 
with her husband, Gregg 
Hurwitz, the author of 
several novels, in the 
courthouse cafeteria. The 
night before the closing 
arguments, I had seen an 
interview on NBC with 
Delinah's brother, Noah, 
who said tersely about 
his father's situation, 
"It's nobody's fault but 
his." Asked why he had 

not attended the trial, Noah said that he had 
not been invited. Shellie Samuels, the prosecu- 
tor, who had gotten convictions in 48 of the 49 
murder cases she had tried, told me that she 
had been in the courtroom in Santa Monica 
during the trial of the man who killed my daugh- 
ter. She's smart, tough, funny, and dramatic. She 
used her hands and arms most expressively in talking to the ju- 
rors, and she even made them laugh on several occasions. But M. 
Gerald Schwartzbach, the defense attorney, a non-dramatic man 


Top, Anjelica Huston greets former 
boyfriend Jack Nicholson at a show of 

sculpture by her husband, Robert 

Graham. Above, Robert Blake reacts 

to the jury's decision to acquit him. 

with his two partners | 

longtime hit series 

Big Valley, which sta^ 

Barbara Stanwyck 

brought television si 

dom to Lee Majors 

Linda Evans. Art ar 

used to see each otl 

every day at the studil 

"I'm 95," he said, r| 

ging me. 

"You look terrific j 

"Weren't those gr 
days back at Four St 
he asked. 

"The greatest," I 
After the signni 
Graydon went offf 
dinner at David Geffen's and I went off to 
ner at Betsy Bloomingdale's. 

he Vanity Fair dinner was a swank affa 

and I was very happy with my seating. (| 

my left was the beautiful actress Anj 

Dickinson, who once fascinated both Frank Sirl 

tra and John F. Kennedy and never sold her stoi 

and on my right the delightful and witty Nol 

Ephron. who had just finished co-writing ail 

directing Bewitched, starring Nicole Kidman, ail 

who was leaving the next morning to deliver oi| 

of the eulogies at the funeral in New York 

Henry Grunwald, the former managing edit! 

of Time magazine and ambassador to Austri 

Also at the table were Nora's husband, tl 

writer Nick Pileggi; international publisher R 

pert Murdoch and his wife, Wendy, who ha 

just bought Laurance Rockefeller's former Fifl 

Avenue apartment for S44 million; and the Canadian retail tycoc 

Galen Weston and his wife. Hilary, the former lieutenant gove 

nor of Ontario, who are the current owners of Fort Belvedere, i 

126 j VANITY FA I R | 

MAY 200 

e's one language everyone understands. 

My gold treat. 

Charm bracelet from the Bags collection by Rosato in 14K gold 
and enamel. 

cations visit 

speak gold 

www. speakgold . com 


England, once the private res- 
idence of King Edward VIII, 
who romanced Wallis Simpson 
there before his abdication. 

Elizabeth Taylor has not 
"shut the door" on her 
movie-star life after all, 
as I suggested in my diary two 
issues ago. I've even heard that 
my statement had a lot to do 
with her determination to get 
up, dress up, jewel up, and turn 
up at Elton John's annual Oscar- 
night AiDS-foundation party, 
held this year in a tent erected 
in the parking lot of the Pacific 
Design Center. She looked great 
in the clips I saw later on televi- 
sion. The blond hair, which I felt 
never suited her, was gone, and she was looking 
her former, dark-haired, attractive self again. She 
got out of her wheelchair and walked up to the 
cameras. "I want to make sure that people know 
I*m still alive," she said on Extra, with a touch of 
her famous humor. George Hamilton, who was 

Awards and bringing class 
portance to Hollywood's big 



David Furnish and Elton John 

welcome Elizabeth Taylor back into 

the social swim with a cake, 

candles, and presents at 

John's annual Oscar-night AIDS- 

foundation party. 

ast month I told you 
character in Jane Std 
Hitchcock's new n| 
One Dangerous Lady, is 
on me— a journalist namedl 
ry Locket, who writes abouj 
rich and powerful in crir 
situations and who endl 
murdered. On the MarJ 
episode of Law & Order: 
by Jury, I was once again a I 
of the story, this time undel 
real name. A couple of ;| 
ago, when I saw Dick Wolll 
creator of the Law & 0\ 
franchise, at Barry Diller': 
nual Hollywood picnic, he said, "Hey, I'm wi 
a character based on you" I said, "Great," 
never heard another word from him and comj 
ly forgot about our conversation. If I haj 
seen my name in Alessandra Stanley's review 
The New York Times, I might not have knd 
that Dick Wolf had followed through. StaJ 

"I want to make sure people know Im still alive " Elizabeth sail 

also at my table at the Vanity Fair party, with his stunning ex-wife, 
Alana Hamilton Stewart, told me he was taking Elizabeth out to 
dinner the following night. So Elizabeth is back on the Holrywood 
social scene again, and I hope I was at least partially responsible. 

Twas rather disappointed with the Academy Awards themselves 
this year. Many of the top stars weren't out that night, and I 
really believe that each and every superstar— all the actors and 
actresses the Hollywood film industry has made rich and famous 
beyond their wildest dreams— should participate in this annual cer- 
emony, as presenters in those years when they don't have a film or 
are not nominated. It would have lifted the spirit in the Kodak The- 
atre if Brad Pitt, say, had walked out on the stage, or Tom Cruise, or 
Nicole Kidman, or Russell Crowe, or Denzel Washington, or Tom 
Hanks, or George Clooney, to name just a few of the stand-up-and- 
take-notice kind of movie stars who were so sadly missing. Normal- 
ly, I'm a huge fan of Chris Rock's, but that night I wasn't. I felt he 
should have thanked the audience for the standing ovation it gave 
him at the start of the show, and I found his riff on Jude Law un- 
funny and mean, though I'm sure he didn't intend it to be either. 
People are saying, and I agree, that there are too many award 
shows. I was happy for Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank when they 
won for best actor and best actress, but I had the distinct impres- 
sion that I'd heard their acceptance speeches before on earlier 
award shows. You'd think that with all those agents and publicists 
and lawyers they thanked someone could have come up with a dif- 
ferent acceptance speech for the Academy Awards, which is the one 
award that really matters in the end. As for the "improvements" in 
the show, such as handing out awards in the aisles and bringing all 
the nominees in a given category onstage at the same time, I 
thought they were rotten ideas, and I hope they are abandoned next 
year. Imagine being lined up in a group and having to stand there 
in front of the whole industry when you lose, while the winner 
gives his or her speech. For me there was only one great moment 
in the whole telecast, that clip of the late Johnny Carson, witty and 
spiffy in white tie and tails, presiding as host of the Academy 

wrote. "The premiere of 'Trial* seems ripped from New York si 
ety pages. The director and producer Tony Bill play's a theater | 
ducer accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend after a ror 
tic dinner at Cafe des Artistes. He decides to spin the publicity! 
inviting the Vanity 7 Fair columnist Dominick Dunne to dinnej 
Alain Ducasse and is then surprised when the article turns ou) 
be unfavorable. His lawyer is not. "You may have forgotten thatj 
daughter was murdered by her boyfriend," she says scornfully, 
ring to the real-life tragedy in Mr. Dunne's life." I was a little putj 
by that, considering how personal it was. but the episode 
out to be excellent, and I'm happy that my character didn't 
snowed by Tony Bill, who happens to be an old friend. If they 
use me on the show again, I hope they give me a bigger part 

I shed a tear when Dan Rather left his anchorman's seat| 
CBS Xigluly Xews after 24 years. During the O. J. Simps 
murder trial, in 1995. I made a weekly Friday-night appe| 
ance on Dans show to give an update of the case. I was so in 
of the man that for a couple of weeks I was nervous just to 
on the air with him. The first chance he had to come out to 
Angeles, however, he suggested that we have lunch and get j 
know each other. We hit it off perfectly and had a few laughs, 
after that I relaxed. Over the years, whenever we have run ir 
each other in New York at literary or television functions, he 
always stopped to chat. His was a sad exit, after such a great cl 
reer. He deserved better. Watching his farewell broadcast alof 
in my New York apartment. I clapped for him. 

I can end this diary on a real high. The two-and-a-half-yej 
lawsuit brought against me by former congressman Gal 
Condit, involving the disappearance and death of Chand 
Levy, has finally come to an end. with a monetary settlemer 
I'm not just content with the outcome. I'm absolutely giddy th 
the black cloud that has hovered over me for so long has begt 
to disperse. I'm giving myself a treat, eight days at Claridge's, 
London, to chill out and think about anything but depositions. 

128 VANITY F A I R j 

MAY 2 






Victor Navasky, pub 

Trie Nation, the l40-ye< 

political weekly. 

New York City aparti 

February 28, 2 



Because someone had to keep the left flag flying, and 
when Victor Navasky took over the editor's chair 
of The Nation, in 1978. it had the sort of subscription 
list that could have been erased by a hard winter, be- 
cause he reached out from the fading Garment Dis- 
trict left and embraced Hamilton Fish III, scion of anti-Roosevelt 
Republicanism, for the heavy lifting of being his publisher, be- 
cause when he signed up Calvin Trillin, prince of miniatures 
and rhymes and recipes, he offered him something "in the high 
two figures." because he was able to seduce other scribblers, from 
Gore Vidal to Ed Doctorow, on similar terms, because he pirated 
the only passage of Gerald Ford's memoirs that could be read 
without catatonia, and rode the issue to the Supreme Court, be- 

cause he kept alive the memory of the victims of Joseph M 
Carthy in his book Naming Names, because, although faced wit 
the most ornery and righteous readership in the country, he woul 
(almost) never ask a writer or an advertiser to tone it down. Bi 
cause he got Annie Navasky to many him. because he traded o 
being schoolmate to Michael Dukakis and still survived the 198 
election, because he has nurtured the always dying flame of th 
small journal of opinion, from Yale's Monocle to /. F. Stone's Week 
/v. because he managed to persuade Paul Newman and Robei 
Redford to pick up the slack of a Nation deficit that they had l> 
know would outlast salad dressing and Sundance, because his ne\ 
memoir, A Matter of Opinion, exhibits malice toward none, becaus 
he prefers being furry to being spiky. —Christopher hitches 


photograph by ARNOLD NEWMAN 

MAY 2 Oi 

A new level of vodka. 

< : 



Level vodka. 
The perfect balance of smoothness and taste. 

C R I M E 

Bad Medicine 

Middlemen are polluting the nation s prescription-drug supply with 

fake or faulty medicine that can spell disaster for patients fighting life-threatening 

diseases. In an excerpt from her new book, the author tells how five veteran 

Florida investigators brought down one of the worst alleged traffickers 

By Katherine Eban 


Cesar Arias, Gar> 
Venema, Randy Jc 
John Petri, and G- 
Odin outside a Nc 
Miami warehouse, 
March 8, 2005. 


board a cruise ship 
to Cozumel, a vodka- 
and-soda in hand, 
Marty Bradley glared 
at the Gulf of Mex- 
ico from inside a 
locked suite. He had 
brought 60 employees on the gleaming 
white ship for his company's annual blow- 
out, a reward for meeting their sales tar- 
gets. But all Bradley could think of now 
was which of the employees on board had 
sold him out and gotten away with the 
score of their lives. 

Excerpted from Dangerous Doses: How 
Counterfeiters Are Contaminating America's Drug 
Supply, by Katherine Eban, to be published 
this month by Harcourt, Inc.; © 2005 by 
the author. 

Just 24 hours earlier, on January 16, 
2002, a white van had backed into an al- 
leyway behind his Miami warehouse. Some 
men climbed from the van and managed 
to twist the dead bolt, tear off the rear met- 
al door, and enter the warehouse. Once in- 
side, they knew exactly what to look for. 

Bradley's company, BioMed Plus, is one 
of the nation's largest private wholesale dis- 
tributors of blood products. The thieves had 
headed directly for a freezer that contained 
plasma derivatives destined for patients with 
compromised immune systems, hemophilia, 
and other disorders. All told, they had taken 
344 vials of the clear liquids that for many 
patients mean the difference between life 
and death. Some of the vials cost almost 
S4,000 apiece. The heist was worth about 
S335,000. The break-in occurred just hours 

after the delivery of a shipment that i 
eluded a rare drug called NovoSeven. whk 
helps form blood clots in hemophiliac 
The thieves had taken all of it. 

Bradley reported the theft to Florida 
Bureau of Statewide Pharmaceutical Se 
vices, a regulatory requirement he expec 
ed to solve nothing. The inspector h 
knew there. Cesar Arias, a tousled Cubai 
American whose heart was certainly in h 
job, had no juice whatsoever. One glanc 
at the man's car, a dilapidated blue Buick 
told the story of his agency's budget woes 

The local cops took a report, but the 
were too bus)' chasing dealers of street drug 
to care much about a theft of clotting facta 
But Bradley knew the stolen vials posed 
serious danger. The medicine inside had U 
remain motionless at a constant temperatun 




MAY 200 


f*% - 






)R brought us out of the Depression 
id through a world war. 

lit the greatest challenge he faced 
as the one we never saw. 






ibscribe online at AOL Keyword: HBO 


and could be transported only with careful 
planning. At best, it had become useless to 
a patient; at worst, it could do harm. 

Bradley was in the ship's cocktail lounge 
waiting to disembark when his cell phone 
rang. His purchasing manager, Marlene 
Caceres, was calling to report that a small 
pharmaceutical wholesale company, the 
Stone Group, was offering to sell some 
plasma derivatives, which it had never of- 
fered before. Bradley had done business 
with the fledgling company in the past. 

The pharmaceutical wholesale market 
operates as an all-hours auction, with deals 
and discounts materializing suddenly and 
medicine passing through many hands. 
And while few patients know that these 
middlemen exist, much of the nation's 
medicine passes through companies like 
BioMed Plus and the Stone Group. 

As Caceres read off the details of the 
offer, Bradley said, "I don't believe it." 
Everything she mentioned— including 51 
vials of NovoSeven and specific amounts 
of Gamimune, Gammagard, and Ivee- 
gam, all for the steeply discounted price 
of $229,241— was identical 
to his list of stolen goods. 
Bradley knew the medicine 
was his. 

He sought advice from 


Hidden-camera images 
of the January 16, 
2002, robbery of Bio- 
Med Plus's warehouse. 

1991, after a political clash, the Hialeah po- 
lice chief demoted him to road sergeant. 

In 1997, he had jumped at the chance 
to join the Florida Department of Law En- 
forcement (F.D.L.E.), a statewide police 
agency with power and panache but notori- 
ously low pay. Despite all his experience, his 
starting salary was $42;000. Many of his 
new colleagues were just a few years older 
than his three sons. But he enjoyed the 
training, and almost immediately he em- 
barked on a case that involved the organ- 
ized theft of over-the-counter goods from 
drugstore chains. Even though the merchan- 
dise crossed state lines, the feds, who would 
be needed to pursue it, didn't seem interest- 
ed. Venema became discouraged. And then, 
almost by accident, the case for which he'd 
been waiting his entire life came along. 

It had started inauspiciously enough. 
On November 13, 2001, he was summoned 
to a meeting with Assistant Statewide 
Prosecutor Stephanie Feldman, a petite 
28-year-old with five years' trial experi- 
ence who stood about five feet one inch 
in heels. Feldman sent Venema and Arias 
on a one-day sting opera- 
tion involving a few vials of 
stolen cancer medicine. 

Before he met Arias, 
Venema had never thought 

were waiting: Arias, Bradley's lawye| 
three Miami-Dade County detective 

When asked if he knew that the 
cine had been stolen, Dana stammerj 
don't know anything about that." 
gling through a few more questions, 
then offered that he would like to hell 
wanted to consult a lawyer first. Aj 
word, "lawyer," the questions had tc| 

The next day, the president of the 
Group contacted the authorities an J 
them that the drugs had been purer 
from a company in Kissimmee called I 
Wholesale. His contact there was a 
named Michael Carlow, whom he bei| 
to be the owner. 

As much as anyone, Carlow perl 
fied what was wrong with Florida's r| 
cine business. In the distant past, he 
served time in prison for armed rot 
and gotten probation for grand thet, 
1998 the state gave his wife, Candai| 
prescription-drug wholesale license 
company that Carlow ran as presider 
June 2000 he was arrested for bul 
583,000 of stolen Neupogen, a cancer| 
aids drug, in the parking lot of a Mia 
taurant. He pleaded no contest, paid a i| 
inal fine, and was sentenced to 18 mol 
probation, and he and his wife surrendl 
their state license— what passed for hi 



The break-in occurred just hours after a delivery of 

NovoSeven. The thieves had taken all of it. 

the one person whose number he had with 
him: Cesar Arias. "Stand by," Arias said 
excitedly. The drug inspector called one of 
his few contacts in law enforcement, a state 
cop named Gary Venema, and then called 
Bradley back to relay Venema's advice at 
top volume: "Buy it back! Buy it back!" 

Gary Venema was impossible not to no- 
tice. A big, sandy-haired man of 50 who 
had a wiseass grin and wore Hawaiian 
shirts and a gold sailboat charm around 
his neck, he had a magnetic, even manic 
presence that drew every eye in a room. A 
former cop with 24 years' experience, 15 as 
a homicide-and-narcotics detective in Hia- 
leah, a gritty suburb of Miami, Venema 
had seen it all, but his days of adrenaline- 
pumping shoot-outs were long gone. In 

about the safety of his medicine. He as- 
sumed that it traveled directly from the 
drugmaker to the pharmacy. But Arias 
worried about the medicine's transport, its 
temperature, where it originated, the path 
it took, and the documentation of all this. 
Venema began to thirJc of himself as a stu- 
dent and apprenticed himself to Arias. 

On January 21, 2002, a young Stone 
Group salesman, Sean Dana, arrived 
at Bradley's warehouse in a souped- 
up Trans Am. He was wearing shorts and a 
T-shirt and carried a cooler full of the med- 
icine stolen from Bradley five days earlier. 

After Dana dropped off the medicine 
in the receiving bay, Bradley took him to 
the conference room, where five people 

justice under Florida's weak health 

Carlow's alleged involvement w 
BTC— which on paper belonged to 
brother-in-law, a former mattress salesrr 
named Thomas Atkins Jr.— suggested t 
he might be making a comeback. Stej 
anie Feldman directed Venema and Ar 
to be at BTC first thing the next morni: 

Pharmaceutical middlemen buy. s< 
sort, repackage, and distribute 98 p 
cent of the nation's medicine. T 
companies, about 6,500 in all, range frc 
publicly traded giants with pristine wa 
houses to small, obscure firms that open 
from back rooms. 

The largest middlemen, McKesso 
AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Healtl 

134 | VANITY F A I R | www.vanityfaircom 

MAY 2 t 

Van Cleef & Arpels 



multi-billion-dollar publicly traded entities 
known as the Big Three— control 90 per- 
cent of this market. Below them sit some 15 
regional wholesalers that do billions in busi- 
ness. And below them sit the smaller, sec- 
ondary wholesalers, a group that included 
numerous companies set up by Michael Car- 
low. All of these companies buy from, and 
sell to, one another. They thrive by speculat- 
ing on price increases. The Big Three have 
trading divisions that scout the secondary 
wholesale market for discounted medicine. 
Whereas governments in Europe and 
Canada largely regulate pharmaceutical 
prices, drugmakers in the United States 
fought off price controls, choosing instead 
to offer targeted discounts that allow them 
to increase their market shares. The drug- 
makers charge pharmacies "direct" prices 
and give wholesalers a small reduction. 
Hospitals and so-called closed-door phar- 
macies, which solely supply facilities such 
as nursing homes, sometimes pay less 
than half the direct price. 

of pharmaceuticals, and the laws govern- 
ing it are murky at best. Michael Carlow 
and many others allegedly used this confu- 
sion to their advantage. They had state li- 
censes, lawyers, accountants, and all the 
trappings of legitimacy. Their businesses 
embodied the spirit of "pure capitalism," 
as one of Carlow 's lawyers described it. 
"Buy low, sell high, make money." 

At 10 a.m. on January 23, 2002, Vene- 
ma's red truck rattled up to the fad- 
ing little office building in Kissimmee 
where BTC had its headquarters. Thomas 
Atkins Jr., who had been instructed to be 
there, declined to answer most of Arias"s 
and Venema's questions, including queries 
about Carlow, whom he acknowledged 
was his brother-in-law. Atkins did say that 
he knew nothing about the drugs he was 
selling, except that some of them needed 
to be refrigerated. 

"Are you basically a front for someone 
else in this business?," Venema asked. 

ing he was senile as a way of extractii) 
formation from them. 

"We're going to put people in jail," 
ma said by way of introduction. Danjl 
the other Stone Group employees, nol 
whom were charged with a crime, app<{ 
terrified. Each recognized a mug sh| 
Carlow— suntanned and smiling with 
mond stud in one ear— from his aire 
2000. So far, they had purchased more| 
S2 million in medicine from Carlow at 

They explained that on Januanl 
2002— four days after Marty Bradley's I 
had been stolen from his warehousl 
Stone Group salesman had picked then 
from Carlow "s home in Weston, Floj 
near Fort Lauderdale, where he kept nj 
cine in his laundry room and garage. 

The inspectors seized several boxel 
medicine and loaded them into the trucl 
Miami-Dade police sergeant John Pi 
Short and muscular, with a well-grooj 
mustache, Petri is a master of surveillaj 
following suspects invisibly from his trJ 

Some pharmaceutical wholesalers were former drug dealer^ 

seeking a safer line of work. 

The secondary wholesalers contend that 
aggressive trading helps them reduce prices 
for mom-and-pop pharmacies and local 
hospitals that lack the buying power of 
the big chains. But the bargains also drive 
a parallel and illegal practice called "diver- 
sion," in which some middlemen resort to 
fraud to obtain discounted medicine. Cor- 
rupt wholesalers often solicit those who 
qualify for discounts to buy more medicine 
than they need and sell the rest for kick- 
backs. In 2000, a task force for the Nation- 
al Association of Boards of Pharmacy esti- 
mated that up to four-fifths of the closed- 
door pharmacies that received discounted 
medicine exploited loopholes to resell at 
least a portion to outside buyers. 

By 2002 the F.D.A.'s criminal inves- 
tigators faced a problem that they could 
not clearly measure or solve: a huge vol- 
ume of the nation's medicine no longer 
flowed directly from drugmakers to one of 
the Big Three to a pharmacy or hospital. 
Instead, the medicine passed through nu- 
merous middlemen, with each company 
taking a wedge of the profit. These sales 
often went unrecorded or were accompa- 
nied by phony pedigree papers that ob- 
scured the origin of the medicine and left 
no way to ensure its safety. 

This illicit diversion has become a 
multi-billion-dollar industry. Terrell L. Ver- 
million, director of the F.D.A.'s Office of 
Criminal Investigations, estimates. Yet the 
practice closely resembles the legal trading 

Atkins refused to answer this question 
too. Arias and Venema emerged from the 
meeting convinced that BTC was a shell 
company, its true nature unclear. 

In Florida it was laughably easy to be- 
come a pharmaceutical wholesaler. All you 
needed was a refrigerator, a burglar alarm, 
an air conditioner. S200 for a security bond, 
and S700 for a license. You needed no ex- 
perience and no particular knowledge. You 
had to certify that you had no criminal rec- 
ord, but the pharmaceutical bureau did 
not actually check. 

Florida's pharmaceutical wholesale com- 
panies proliferated like rabbits. By 2002, 
Florida had licensed 1.399 of them— one 
for every three pharmacies in the state. 
The wholesalers ranged from trained phar- 
macists, doctors, and lawyers to criminal 
kingpins and uneducated street thugs. Some 
were former drug dealers seeking a safer 
line of work. Aided by lax regulations and 
Florida's large Medicaid-and-medicine- 
dependent elderly population, those traf- 
ficking in diverted medicine were making 
a fortune. 

Two days after the interview with At- 
kins, Venema, Arias, and Alias's part- 
ner, drug inspector Gene Odin, set 
out for Boca Raton to interview the em- 
ployees of the Stone Group. At 72, Odin 
had a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry and 
two hearing aids that often conked out. 
He lulled those he regulated into believ- 

Now he gathered with the others in 
parking lot and listened as Arias explai I 
that the case against Carlow couldn't 
much simpler: "You can't have a phanj 
cy in your house." 

Windmill Ranch Estates— a grkj 
manicured palm trees and I] 
ianate palazzi on sparkling lake 
was among the costliest gated commi| 
ties in Weston. Carlow lived here on 
pansive landscaped grounds. His neiJ 
bors knew him as a gregarious family m| 

He had come a long way since filing 
bankruptcy four years earlier. Then, he 
lost his $108,000 Bentley and $675,000 <■ 
Ray yacht, the Cheshire Cat, named af 
the vanishing feline in Alice in IVonderla^ 
After his bankruptcy. Carlow also vanisl 
in his particular way. He began to put mi 
of his new possessions in the name of l| 
fourth wife, Candace. He also formed cof 
panies that appeared to belong to others. 
Michael Carlow was born in Conne>| 
icut and raised in Hollywood. Florida. /| 
ter graduating from high school in 1970, 
drifted through a series of jobs. He al 
embarked on a series of crimes. Accordii 
to police reports, in 1973. at age 20. he w 
convicted of armed robbery and seru 
three years in prison. In 1984 he was a 
rested for dealing in stolen propern 
the case against him was dismissed. In 19J 
he pleaded guilty to grand theft, was give 
three years" probation, and was ordered 


MAY 200 






Sophie OKON EDO 










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complete a substance-abuse treatment pro- 
gram. While enrolled in the program, he 
was arrested in Alabama for selling co- 
caine and fled. Later that year he turned 
himself in and resumed his drug rehab. 

By the mid-1990s, Carlow had shed 
any semblance of the drug-addled hood 
in his old mug shots. In 1991 he formed 
what he called a consulting company, 
which evolved into Quest Healthcare Inc. 
As he explained to those from whom he 
wanted money or business. Quest oversaw 
more than a dozen mental-health, male- 
impotence, and H.I.V. clinics in six states. 

After his 1998 bankruptcy. Quest and 
his various spin-off companies, most of 
them not in his name, began branching 
out into pharmaceuticals. His arrest in 
June 2000 was a temporary setback, but 
he never really left the game. 

By February 2002, according to author- 
ities, two men were making regular trips 
to Carlow's Weston mansion, toting duffel 
bags and old boxes that contained a jum- 
ble of pill bottles, medicine vials, and bags 
of blood derivatives— some still bearing the 
labels of patients to whom they had been 
dispensed. The men, Fabian Diaz and 

slums. Some were '"professional patients" 
who sold, rather than took, their medicine. 
A notorious example of such a patient, 
Michael McKinnon. made S 5,000 a month 
by selling his aids medicine. 

Sometimes Diaz and Garcia would sim- 
ply create patients, authorities say. by re- 
trieving names and Medicaid numbers 
from pharmacies and treatment centers. If 
necessary, they also could steal drugs by 
breaking into warehouses. Through his 
shifting roster of companies. Carlow then 
resold the drugs to other wholesalers. 

But Carlow had not stopped at selling 
to obscure companies. He had developed 
what every small wholesaler dreamed of: 
a lucrative relationship with one of the in- 
dustry giants, Cardinal Health. From 1999 
through the middle of 2000, 
Quest Healthcare sold nearly $1.5 
million in products to National 
Specialty Services, then a Car- 
dinal division that was the na- 
tion's largest supplier of blood 
products, cancer drugs, and oth- 
er specialty pharmaceuticals to 
hospitals. Cardinal's purchases 
from at least four companies that 

stucco mansion in the Mediterranean - 
with pillars and archways shaded by| 
trees. A pool glimmered out back. 

He drove past slowly, looking to 
anyone registered his presence, bi 
house remained dark. He doubled I 
and. with the engine still running, he 
out, grabbed the trash bag. and thr 
into the flatbed. 

Venema returned twice the next 
Each time. Carlow's trash disgorge*, 
dence that he was into pharmaceud 
and attempting to expand his various | 
nesses. The records indicated that 
received mail at Carlow's home and I 
drugs to companies in Missouri anc 
vada. Exuberant after these uncensj 
looks into Carlow's life. Venema wrote| 
sent a memo: 


From left: Cesar Arias 
and Randy Jones 
outside Michael Carlow's 
house in Windmill 
Ranch Estates, February 
2002; Carlow's garage, 
where he kept sports 
cars and, according 
to police, a refrigerator 
filled with drugs; the 
house from above. 

To: Stephanie Feldil 
From: Gary Vent 
Starfleet Commarn] 

Steph— couldn't 
last nite— and you 
what I do when I 
sleep— I DO TRASH Pll 
Carlow had a w-{ 
whatever showing 

Arias explained that the case couldn't be much simpler: 

You cant have a pharmacy in your house.' 

Henry Garcia, were known in certain cir- 
cles as Carlow's "cooks." And their job was 
to acquire as much medicine as possible. 

Investigators believed that the medicine 
they collected was Carlow's lifeblood. To 
make the kind of profit Carlow wanted, it 
needed to be cheap. Free was best of all. 
Ordering medicine and not paying for it was 
one way to do this. Another was through 
the efforts of Diaz and Garcia. The men 
were so productive that Carlow's garage be- 
came a virtual pharmacy repackaging oper- 
ation, a pharmacist who says he dropped 
off medicine there told investigators. 

At the street level, according to law- 
enforcement sources, Diaz and Garcia 
bought cancer and aids drugs from Med- 
icaid patients at health clinics in Miami's 

Carlow controlled thrust his medicine into 
the heart of the nation's drug supply, where 
it inevitably reached patients. 

After midnight on February 6. 2002. 
Gary Venema was awake, staring at 
the ceiling. He couldn't sleep, be- 
cause it was Wednesday, and on Wednes- 
days the city of Weston collected trash at 
Windmill Ranch Estates. 

Dressed in dark jeans, a T-shirt, and 
sneakers, Venema glided toward the door. 
He enjoyed thinking of himself as a thief in 
the night (albeit one on the right side of the 
law). In his truck he drove to Carlow's gat- 
ed community, where he flashed his badge 
and a sleepy guard let him in. Drhing down 
Windmill Ranch Road, he approached a big 

income for 2001 at S700.000.00 from so 
investment firm. Also a letter from Hatte 
yachts— FDLE agents don' motor aroi 
the waterways in Hatteras Yachts— [our] wh 
office couldn't buy gasoline for one! 

He continued: 

My strategy would be to: 

1) Call Mr. Carlow real nicely for a lit 
friendly chat . . . 

2) Have the warrant ready for when 
[then] attorney. David Mandel tells me 
pound salt 

3 ) Hit his house like the weapon of mass 
struction that I intend to be on this guy. 

Through the trash alone, Venema soc 
formed an intimate dislike of Carle 
and he began declaring to almost an 


MAY 20 








- - • N 




■ . , • 


On-the first morning, the silence 
is shattered by screams. Yours. 

i ■ ■.-. . 


One afternoon, you learn how to outrun e-mail 

High in the great mountains there's a gate, 
and beyond the gate there's a feast. 

It's a feast for the senses that lasts all summer long, 
and for four days, you write the menu. 

Try the fourteen-thousand-foot view. 
It's a hike, but that's the idea. 

Or the still of an alpine lake in the cool Colorado air. 

A western rodeo. A birdie on a dogleg. 
A horse, a bike, a balloon. 

Then, hallelujah, the spa. (And a spot of shopping?) 

Followed by dinner a food critic would eat up. 
And orchestra seats for a show fresh from Broadway, 

or the ballet. 

Because here, there are only orchestra seats. 
At Beaver Creek, you're beyond the gate. 

who would listen that he was "com- 
downtown. Charlie Brown, to get 
hael Carlow." 

T enema returned to Carlow 's mansion 
on February 15, 2002. This time he 
was accompanied by Arias, Odin, 
five other investigators, including 
dy Jones, a bear of a detective from 
Vliami-Dade Police Department who 
carrying cameras and video equip- 
t. Venema held a search warrant that 
1 suspicion of racketeering, conspiracy 
icketeer. grand theft, dealing in stolen 
>erty, and prescription fraud, 
enema rang the doorbell and a star- 
maid opened the door. Carlow wasn't 
le. The investigators, whose wives 
?ed coupons, were stunned by what 

none liked spending time behind a desk. 

Arias and Odin would supply the essen- 
tial knowledge of medicine. Venema, as 
lead investigator, would supply the adrena- 
line. Petri and Jones, who had worked to- 
gether for 15 years and had known each 
other longer, would do the surveillance. 

Arias began calling their group "the 
Horsemen of the Apocalypse." because he 
envisioned them exacting a biblical revenge 
on those who sold bad medicine. They 
codified their identity with five black polo 
shirts bearing the image of a Grim Reaper 
holding a scythe amid a cluster of horses. 
They wore them while executing warrants. 

While Feldman was a relative novice, 
she had a personal interest in the case. 
Since age 14 she had battled juvenile dia- 
betes, the disease's most severe form. Four- 

leave the manufacturer's loading docks, 
they are liable to drop into a gray market 
run by pharmaceutical middlemen of just 
the sort Venema now confronted. 

The bearded man. Sheldon Schwartz, 
had brokered the deal for 100 boxes of 
Epogen, plus 17 boxes of an aids medi- 
cine that had already been delivered. Ven- 
ema had agreed to cut him a check for 
$509,000, still far below the drugmaker's 
lowest price. "I don't want to move any- 
thing until we go down and you have your 
check and you're a happy camper," Vene- 
ma said casually. "I'll just look over to 
see if the dates are cool and everything." 

Schwartz nodded. 

Although the sting had no direct con- 
nection to the pursuit of Carlow, the new- 
ly christened Horsemen were elated at the 

^hat was happening was nothing short of murder by inches 

Stephanie Feldman concluded. 

saw. A zippy yellow Dodge Viper 
black racing stripes sat just outside 
parage. Carlow 's red Ferrari was parked 
le. In the house were gleaming an- 
:s, flat-screen televisions and comput- 
lonitors, a designer refrigerator, and 
r accoutrements of major money, 
arlow's file cabinets turned up neatly 
xed folders for shell companies, finan- 
records, and yacht purchases. A box 
usiness cards listed Carlow as the 
ncipal" for BTC Wholesale. The in- 
igators emerged with the names of 
:ns of people and companies, bank- 
oint records, and other leads to mine. 

} ive days later, Stephanie Feldman sum- 
moned Venema, Arias, Odin, Petri, 

and Jones to her office to create a 
ial task force. At her direction, the 
men would investigate how stolen, di- 
:d, and counterfeit medicine was mov- 
:hroughout Florida and into the na- 
s supply. She would call their work 
ration Stone Cold. Their goal, she 
, would be to build a racketeering 

against Michael Carlow and his ac- 
plices. Venema would be their lead 
itigator. She expected indictments with- 
>c months. 

he five men were not an obvious dream 
i. Except for Arias, they were all 50 or 
. Several of them took medicine for 

blood pressure and had to hold doc- 
nts and restaurant menus at arm*s 
th to read them. None had worked 
mplex investigation before. But they 
ed other characteristics not lost on 
man. They were old-school investiga- 
who came early and stayed late. And 

teen months earlier, she had been admitted 
to the hospital in a diabetes-related coma. 
She knew that patients' lives were threat- 
ened if they did not get exactly the right 
medicine, maintained in the right way. 

Feldman had dubbed the task force 
Operation Stone Cold because she viewed 
those trafficking in adulterated medicine as 
stone-cold killers. "What was happening 
was nothing short of murder by inches," 
she concluded early on. 

Waiting in the broiling sun on April 
4, 2002, Venema peered down an 
empty side street in North Miami. 
"The delivery should be here, I just called 
them," the short, bearded man next to 
him announced. Posing as a wholesaler, 
Venema was waiting for a delivery of high- 
dose Epogen with a dubious pedigree and 
a suspiciously low price. 

Epogen, a miracle of genetic engineer- 
ing, had transformed the lives of patients 
who suffered from anemia after organ trans- 
plants, cancer treatments, or kidney dis- 
ease. Derived from human DNA. the drug 
turned its manufacturer, Amgen Inc., into 
the world's largest independent biotech- 
nology company. And Epo. as it is known 
in the trade, became the best-selling medi- 
cine of biotechnology, bringing in S2.6 bil- 
lion worldwide in 2004 alone. Epogen has 
to be maintained at a constant tempera- 
ture of two to eight degrees Celsius and 
requires protection from moisture, frost, 
excessive heat, and even light. Amgen— like 
other makers of delicate medicines— tries 
to maintain an unbroken set of optimal 
conditions throughout the manufacturing 
process. However, as soon as these drugs 

opportunity it presented. They were fish- 
ing in a tainted lake and were sure to 
draw out at least more information, if not 
diverted drugs. 

Arias, Odin, Petri, and Jones watched 
and waited silently in cars and trucks po- 
sitioned around the parking lot. Finally, a 
silver Mercedes crept down the alley. Arias 
knew the driver. It was Brian Hill of Jem- 
co Medical International. Arias and Odin 
had investigated the man for years, but 
could never find an explanation in his rec- 
ords for his huge success. 

Hill climbed out of the car and popped 
open the trunk. There, baking in a card- 
board box without benefit of a cooler or 
other protection, was the Epogen, almost 
certainly degraded by the extreme heat 
and the turbulence of the ride. 

The men went inside a nearby ware- 
house and Venema scrutinized the boxes. 
Not one had the sticky residue of medi- 
cine that had already been dispensed, and 
they all shared the same lot number: 
P002970. The drugs appeared pure. 

As arranged, his walkie-talkie buzzed 
and he uttered the words that signaled the 
backup units to move in. The Horsemen, 
accompanied by Miami police with guns 
drawn, stormed the warehouse. Staying 
in character, Venema feigned outrage and 
surprise. Hill looked shaky and stunned. 
Schwartz and the others in the warehouse 
denied wrongdoing and were not arrested. 

Arias and Odin studied the medicine. It 
looked perfect even to their practiced eyes. 

Later that day, Arias contacted Jon 
Martino, a security official at Amgen, ask- 
ing whether the company had sold 100 
boxes of high-dose Epogen with the lot 




number P002970 to a single buyer in the 
last year. Martino wrote back that 100 
boxes of high-dose Epogen was too big an 
order for anyone in the country. 

This led Arias to wonder: If no one 
had bought 100 boxes of the high-dose 
medicine at one time, how did they end 
up grouped together? And who could af- 
ford to buy that much? The medicine had 
a market value of almost S500,000. 

In late April. Martino contacted Arias 
with a succinct verdict on the Epogen: 
"It's bad.'* The drug actually was Epogen 
and came from Amgen. Martino said. But 
it was not high-dose Epogen— the Rolls- 
Royce of anemia treatments— as labeled. It 
was the low-dose medicine, one-twentieth 
the strength, which cost S258 per box. 
Someone had glued on counterfeit labels, 
making each box worth S4.700. 

In the parlance of the drugmakers, the 
medicine had been "up-labeled." The 
counterfeit labels were indistinguishable 
from the real ones except for two tiny de- 
gree symbols missing in the words "Store 
at 2 to 8 C." Amgen was sending out a 

can market offers a unique incentive to 
criminals in search of a niche: medicine 
here costs far more than anywhere else in 
the world. 

From 2000 to 2004, the FDA's crimi- 
nal cases that involved counterfeiting in- 
creased almost tenfold, from 6 a year to 58. 
As of October 2004, 91 "counterfeiting cases 
were active at the agency's Office of Crimi- 
nal Investigations. One counterfeiting case 
in 2003 prompted the recall of 18 million 
doses of Lipitor. an anti-cholesterol drug 
that is Americas best-selling medicine. Pfi- 
zer's global security vice president estimates 
that counterfeit Lipitor may have reached 
more than 600,000 patients. Those who re- 
ceived it swallowed pills with a bitter after- 
taste and no health benefit. 

No one actually knows how much coun- 
terfeit, adulterated, or subpotent medicine 
is in our supply, since no one has tested 
our drugs system-wide. F.D.A. officials 
have estimated that less than 1 percent 
of America's drug supply is counterfeit, 
but even that number is potentially huge. 
In 2004. Americans filled 3.5 billion pre- 

some of the medicine had most 
moved through a cooler in the back 
of a seedy Miami strip club called 
pen South, where counterfeit mec 
was allegedly being bought and sold 
low had a tangential relationship wi 
club's owners. He didn't know then 
some of his suppliers did. Consequ 
investigators suspect, some of the t 
that flowed from Playpen South n 
through Carlow's shell companies. 

Operation Stone Cold appeared 
going smoothly. Nine months 
the break-in at Marty Bradley's 
house, 55 of Florida's more than 45 
state drug wholesalers were either sub 
or targets of the investigation, their 
ticulars taped on the wall of a small, 
dowless conference room at F.D.L.E. 
But in truth, by the fall of 2002, tl 
were not going well at all. Despite 
extensive corruption Arias and Odin 
helped uncover, their own agency.! 
Bureau of Statewide Pharmaceutical 
vices, continued issuing wholesale lie 

Carlow was suspected of selling $54 million in adulterated 

medicine to wholesalers nationwide. 

WJ.lll'UJiJI.I IF 





warning letter to physicians, pharmacists, 
and wholesalers nationwide, identifying 
the lot and urging those who suspected 
counterfeit medicine to call the F.D.A. 
Arias was floored. 

As the Horsemen dug deeper, it be- 
came increasingly clear that a current of 
diverted, degraded, and expired medicine 
lay right below the surface of the so-called 
legitimate supply. It was not simply that 
the two streams merged on occasion, by 
accident, but that the legitimate supply 
was routinely polluted by inventory from 
dangerous sources. Since the Big Three 
bought from Florida's smallest wholesalers, 
Florida's problem was everybody's. 

Medicine counterfeiting has long been 
endemic in China, India, and certain Afri- 
can countries. But increasingly the Ameri- 

III) VANITY FAIR! www vonityfoir com 

scriptions from domestic suppli- 
ers, according to pharmaceutical- 
industry consultant IMS Health. 
One percent of that is 35 million 

The up-labeled Epogen the Horsemen 
discovered had already reached patients 
across the country, including Tim Fagan. 
a 16-year-old Long Island boy who had 
undergone a liver transplant and needed 
weekly injections of Epogen to help boost 
his red-blood-cell count. The Fagan family 
bought the medicine from a CVS pharma- 
cy. Desperate to advance his recovery, 
Tim's mother had administered the injec- 
tions for eight straight weeks, as directed. 
After each shot. Tim suffered wrenching 
muscle cramps, and he did not get better. 

Though no one knew it at the time. 


A gallery of mug shots 
from Carlow's numerous 
arrests: from left, 1973, 
1973, 1974, 1985, and 2000 

es to those ass<i 
ated with felo 
effectively pour 
more sludge ill 
the funnel that the Horsemen were tryJ 
to clean up at the other end. 

In addition, the case's sheer size a 
its promise of media attention broug 
out micro-managers and obstructioni 
everywhere. Worst of all was the set 
ment in the highest ranks of the statewi 
prosecutor's office that Michael Carlov 
offenses might not be worth prosecutir 
He allegedly had passed on phony doc 
ments. obscured the origin of medicir 
and bought and sold without a licens 
but these were offenses that, under t 
state's weak health laws, were punishat 
only with fines and probation. Using thei 

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to build a racketeering case was a legal ad- 
venture—the last thing any career-minded 
prosecutor wants to undertake. 

Over lunch at the Quarterdeck restau- 
rant, in Plantation. Florida, on May 
23. 2003. Carlow extolled the virtues 
of Costa Rica. He spoke of nice real es- 
tate, interesting "retail " opportunities, and 
the "hookers" he had enjoyed there recent- 
ly "I got one for the weekend." he said. 
"Smoking hot." commented his lunch com- 
panion. Steven "Doc" Ivester. 

From a distance, the two men might 
have been mistaken for good friends. Car- 
low divulged that he found his young w be, 
Candace. "very immature." while Ivester 
confided that he went to therapy. "You 
have this really tangled personal life." ob- 
served Carlow. "It's like a bowl of spa- 
ghetti that's been drying out." 

But Ivester hated Carlow. and the wire 
tucked beneath his shirt was recording the 
suspected medicine trafficker's every word. 
Over the two-hour lunch. Ivester kept 
leading the conversation back to Carlow "s 

of Ivester s offer, it was as though Christ- 
mas had come early. 

Now Venema was outside listening 
while Carlow— as cocky as ever— provided 
Ivester with a veritable map of his crimi- 
nal activities. He described expanding his 
pharmaceutical business with a new shell 
company in Kansas. World Pharma. run 
by his former banker and confidante. Jean 
Mclntyre. He also explained that Mclntyre 
would become his new bookkeeper, re- 
placing his mother-in-law. Marilyn Atkins, 
whom Carlow said he'd recently terminat- 
ed for "piss-poor recordkeeping" and be- 
ing "in-fucking-competent." 

He went on to talk about Costa Rica. 
But his lurid description of his weekend 
with a 20-year-old named Danielle mat- 
tered little to Ivester or to the Horsemen. 
What grabbed their attention was Carlow's 
almost incidental remark that he might go 
back to Costa Rica "this coming week." 

If Carlow needed another incentive to 
leave the country, he got it three days later, 
when the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel 
ran a front-page story, former convicts 

the evidence arrived in a box. CaJ 
was a quintessential "box case." 

In June, however, the Horsemen's! 
es finally got religion. Red lights ti 
green. Convinced that Carlow was 
to flee. Venema's supervisors now w| 
to arrest him. 


ate at night on July 20, 2003. 
Venema flipped open his bad 
the Windmill Ranch security 
"F.D.L.E.." he announced. The g 
waved him uneasily into the gated 
munity. In the moonlight. Venema 
right away that the Carlows were h 
Two vans were parked in their sernid 
lar driveway, and the Viper's yellow 
peeked out from the side garage. 

The investigator took a lazy swing 
the house, satisfied that the couple w 
still be home at first light. In his true, 
had arrest warrants for Carlow and 17 1 
ciates, among them his wife: his bro 
in-law. Thomas Atkins Jr.: his motrn 
law, Marilyn Atkins: and his suspe 
"cooks." Fabian Diaz and Henrv Ga 

Some of the Epogen had most likely moved through 

the back room of a seedy Miami strip club. 


past schemes and his future plans. At one 
moment. Carlow spelled out his business 
ethics, stating. "I do not put friends, neigh- 
bors, acquaintances into any deals that I 
am not in myself." At another, he noted 
approvingly of a woman in the restaurant. 
"That's a tight pussy there." 

In 1998. Ivester, a technology inventor 
and entrepreneur, launched a company 
called Navigator. PC. to develop naviga- 
tional devices for the navy. Carlow be- 
came an investor, pledging S500.000. 

One day. Ivester says, he overheard Car- 
low offer a secretary S25 if she would show 
him her panties. Another day. a janitor told 
Ivester about some men taking photo- 
graphs of a car in the parking lot. It was 
the Horsemen, photographing Carlow's 
car. When Ivester asked his new partner 
whether he was under investigation. Car- 
low blew up. screaming. "You don't fuck- 
ing know me. I'm going to ruin you." 

Shortly afterward. Ivester says, he found 
Carlow hugging his girlfriend. Carlow had 
begun a campaign of seduction that ulti- 
mately divided the couple. Ivester believed 
it was Carlow's revenge for his asking about 
the investigation. 

But Ivester knew something about re- 
venge, too. "I'm not a badass, but I'm not 
dumb." he said. At the right moment, he 
had a friend reach out to state officials to 
offer his services. When Venema learned 


The article described Carlow as a "major 
w holesaler selling millions of dollars worth 
of questionable medications out of his 
S1.3 million home." After the article came 
out, Ivester unearthed a document that 
Carlow had left in his Navigator offices. It 
was entitled "Michael Carlow Offshore 
Wealth Preservation Planning Business 
Structure Diagram" and listed various off- 
shore accounts, essentially providing a 
template for a life on the lam. 

If Michael Carlow had been caught sell- 
ing crack cocaine at a Miami intersec- 
tion, he would have been arrested instant- 
ly and faced serious prison time. Instead, he 
was suspected of selling more than S54 mil- 
lion in adulterated medicine to wholesalers 
nationwide, tainting the country's drug sup- 
ply, and potentially killing patients. And al- 
most no one in Florida government could 
seem to figure out how to stop him. 

Weeks had rolled into months of inter- 
agency bickering as some members of the 
Attorney General's Office of Statewide 
Prosecution argued with the F.D.L.E. over 
jurisdiction. It seemed that the most se- 
nior state prosecutors were hesitant to 
proceed. One insider believes they liked 
"three by-five cases." those in which the 
evidence fit on a file card that small. Con- 
versely, they hated "box cases." in which 

He also had a copy of a 95-page indictn 
that listed 32 charges, including racket 
ing and grand theft. 

I've been waiting my whole life to 1 
something like this. Venema reflected, 
so I could say I did. 

That night. Venema actually slept a 
hours, but by 4:30 A.M. he was out 
door. His department had decided to v 
until dawn to make sure that there w 
no mistakes and that Carlow and the 
ers could clearly read the investigate 
field jackets. The dangers they faced w 
twofold: someone threatened with an 
might strike up a gun battle, or. more li 
ly. Carlow would hire lawyers to bi 
them in procedural complaints. 

At five a.m.. Venema parked his tru 
on a side street with a clear view of t 
house. And then he waited. 

At first light, a line of unmarked a 
with darkened windows rolled slowly a 
silently toward Carlow's home. Oth 
units moved into place behind the hou: 
And then two marked police cars, ligl 
turning silently, joined the caravan. 

The sound of car doors opening ai 
slamming shut echoed in the sleepy neie 
borhood. Agents with guns drawn crawl 
up an embankment behind the mansid 
covering it from both sides. It took Ver 
ma only a few seconds to reach the do 
and start pounding. Carlow appeared in 

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pair of shorts, surveyed the line of idling 
cars, and said casually, "Come on in." 

Then he sat down at his kitchen table 
and shook out a cigarette from his pack. 

In a separate room, Venema showed 
Candace a diagram with her husband's pic- 
ture in the center and the photographs and 
names of 17 others ringed around him. All 
of them— including her mother and broth- 
er—were being arrested simultaneously. Her 
eyes widened, but she told Venema, "I don't 
want to talk to you about anything." 

In the kitchen, Carlow asked Venema 
what his wife was being charged with. 
"Racketeering," he said. "Her bond is 
$1.15 million." He did not yet tell Carlow 
the amount of his own bond: S7 million. 

"Can I make some coffee?" Carlow 

bond from $7 million to just under $3 mil- 
lion. Carlow posted bail and enjoyed his 
freedom for a day— until the bail bonds- 
men learned that the Carlows had already 
defaulted on the mortgage that Candace 
had offered as collateral for her bail. They 
apprehended Michael Carlow and took him 
back to jail. * 

By the end of 2004, the Horsemen 
had arrested 55 suspects— more than 
30 of them on racketeering charges— 
and seized S33 million in bad medicine 
and almost S3 million in cash. Sixteen sus- 
pects had agreed to cooperate, most plead- 
ing guilty to an array of charges. 

The efforts of the Horsemen led to the 
passage of Florida's 2003 Prescription Drug 

Yet without an overhaul of na 
laws, bad medicine still pours int 
nation's distribution system, and no <; 
any closer to knowing where it has 
The F.D.A. made clear, in a February 
task-force report on domestic countt 
ing, that it would not impose a sol 
on the powerful wholesalers. Instea 
agency is encouraging the use of pr< 
ing technology that is still being d 
oped: bar coding and radio-frequ 
identification that can help track a d 
origin electronically. The agency he 
so emphasized the need to reduci 
"regulatory burdens" for "stakeholde 
which include the middlemen. Th 
tion's drug supply still runs in part o 
honor system. 

Carlow asked Venema what his wife was being charged witl: 

"Racketeering. Her bond is $1.15 million." 

asked. "You're not going to be here that 
long," one of the officers responded. 

By noon, 12 of the 18 indicted were in 
custody. Exhausted, grubby, exhilarated, 
the Horsemen went home, showered, and 
put on suits for the press conference. 

Carlow appeared as buoyant as ever at 
his bail hearing, on July 28. He en- 
tered the courtroom in a jail-issue 
jumpsuit, waving, blowing kisses, and giv- 
ing thumbs-ups to his friends packing the 

Candace, however, looked haggard and 
distraught. Her mood visibly deteriorated 
as the hearing progressed. As all three 
prosecution witnesses not only spoke of 
Carlow's alleged pharmaceutical misdeeds 
but also detailed his extramarital affairs, 
Carlow turned to his wife and mouthed, 
"Are you O.K.?" His secretary and his 
banker both testified that they had slept 
with him. Steven Ivester testified that Car- 
low had seduced his girlfriend. "I can hon- 
estly say we beat out The Jerry Springer 
Show," John Petri later observed. 

The judge ultimately reduced Carlow's 


Protection Act, which im- 
posed heavy new restric- 
tions on drug wholesalers, 
required criminal-background 
checks for those seeking 
licenses, and created seri- 
ous criminal penalties for trafficking in 
adulterated drugs. 

In the wake of the state's reforms, the 
number of licensed drug wholesalers in 
Florida dropped by almost half. And Op- 
eration Stone Cold expanded its reach, 
working to break up a ring making at least 
S50 million a year selling painkillers over 
the Internet, and another that had submit- 
ted more than $70C million in fraudu- 
lent claims for prosthetic limbs. 

Across the country, the F.B.I., the 
F.D.A., and state investigators continue to 
probe illicit diversion and counterfeiting 
networks. Even Marty Bradley, whose call 
to Cesar Arias sparked Operation Stone 
Cold, did not escape the increased scruti- 
ny. On March 23, he and seven associates 
were indicted in Georgia on charges includ- 
ing racketeering and money-laundering. 
Bradley vowed to fight the charges. 

Meanwhile, the ca 
against the Horseme 
biggest targets are pU 
ding through the lej 
system. Michael Carl 
pleaded not guilty to 
20 charges, but he has been abandoned 
confidants and former associates, who ; 
lining up to testify for the state. Carlow 
mains in jail in Fort Lauderdale, awaiti 
trial later this year. His wife, Candace, fil 
for bankruptcy in August 2004 and is al 
awaiting trial. The Windmill Ranch ma 
sion fell into disrepair and was sold in fo 
closure in February 2005. 

The Horsemen have remained as cob 
sive as ever, through good and bad. In k 
2004 the five men and their wives head 
to Amelia Island, off Florida's northea 
coast, for a long weekend. They stayed t 
the ocean, rode horses along the beac 
and at night had a cookout, spreading I 
tarp across the sand. Though they knel 
they had exposed only a sliver of a systetl 
ic problem, they viewed the case and tkj 
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which set up a Blu-ray Disc-equipped Qualia LCD TV near 
cigar bar, where diners employed their complimentary Dunhill silver lighters After 
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the tent even the movie stars were swiveling their necks like spotted owls. Mike 
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orting actress Cate Blanchett. Best-picture-winning producer Albert S Ruddy, top 
writers Alexander Payne (Sideways) and Charlie Kaufman [Eternal Sunshme of 
iporless Mind), and nominees Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, and Owen 
stopped traffic. For some, the party was a family affair. Nominee Virginia Mad- 
lung out with her big brother, Kill Bill star Michael Madsen, while Bob and Harvey 
nstein savored their last dance with Miramax. Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal 
>ed together and Jake's former flame Kirsten Dunst was escorted by her brother 
stian Orlando Jones, Rashida Jones, and Star Jones were there, too, but they re 
really related Paris and Nicky Hilton swanned in after midnight and beelined to 
corner banquette where VF.'s Lisa Robinson had corralled Jay-Z and Beyonce 
y J Blige Gwen Stefani, Beck, and Fran Lebowitz. As Tom Cruise, who d zoomed 
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Kenneth Fisher one 
his mother, Antoine 
photographed on 
February 18, 2005 
two weeks before h 
deployment to Iraq 


Absent Hearts 

When a third of the students have parents in the military, even football 

games at Fountain-Fort Carson High School are played in Iraq's shadow. For this 

small Colorado town, the war is not a political issue but a series of missed 

T graduations, missed birthdays, and lonely nights 

| By Buzz Bissinger 

he Department of Defense has identified 1,107 
American service members who hare died since the 
start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the death of the 
following American yesterday: BATTLES, Michael Sr.. 
38; SgL, Army; San Antonio; 1st Cavalry Division. 

The New York Times. October 31. 2004. 

As Charlie Paddock stood on the field in the clear Colorado night 
in late October and saw all those people standing, the feelings that 
overwhelmed him had nothing to do with the football game he 
was about to play. 

His team, the Fountain-Fort Carson High School Trojans, was 
minutes away from the starting kickoff oi its last home game of 
2004, against the Cheyenne Mountain High School Indians. This 

season, a classic one of rebuilding, the Trojans had lurched along 
to a record of two and six. and had no shot at the playoffs. The 
team was young, and its greenness showed itself in the typical 
w;<\s: too many penalties, so much trouble early in the season get- 
ting into the end zone that it had begun to feel like some sort of 
tw ilight zone. 

As a senior, Charlie knew the Cheyenne Mountain game would 
be the last home game of his high-school career. That created plen- 
ty of incentive, as did the competition. They were known as the 
silver-spoon guys, and Fountain-Fort Carson had always been the 
blue-collar ones. 

But none of that really mattered in the moments before game 
time, when the school's principal. Jim Calhoun, had asked every- 
one in the stands with ties to the military to rise. Nearly half of 

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the roughly 2,000 people stood up. Given that Fountain-Fort 
Carson High School served families from both the town of Foun- 
tain and the sprawling army post of Fort Carson, to the west, 
where roughly 16,000 soldiers were stationed, there was nothing 
surprising in that; about 35 percent of the 1,237 students had a 
parent in the active military. But as Charlie looked up into the 
stands and saw all those faces filled with a mixture of pride and 
solemnity in the midst of a war with no clear end, the sheer vol- 
ume moved him in a way he had never quite felt before. 

Charlie and his Trojan teammates had knelt in the middle of 
the field when those in the stands had been asked to rise. So had 
the Cheyenne Mountain Indians. But now Calhoun asked those 
players who had a parent in the military to stand. Charlie wasn't 
among them; his father and stepmother were teachers in the Foun- 

ican. with its Wal-Mart at one end of Santa Fe Avenue and Loa 
Jug convenience store at the other, its curlicues of new hous^ 
developments spread out below the Rockies, and its Main Stre 
with a video store and a nail parlor and a shiny new city hall. It 
so quintessentially American, in fact, that on the eve of the 
lennium The New York Times Magazine, after an exhaustive st 
of thousands of communities, had chosen Fountain as the to\| 
more representative of American life than any other in the count] 
Tha.t was before September 11, before America had gone to v>\ 
In 2003, Charlie had watched defensive end Jerry McWilliar 
move in with the family of a teammate when his mother, Karj 
Larsen, was sent to Iraq for a year. He knew about offensil 
tackle and defensive end Cory York, who had not just one p;| 
ent overseas during the 2003 season but two— his stepfather. 

About 35 percent of the 1,237 students at Fountain-Fort 
Carson High School have a parent in the active military. 

tain school system. But about a dozen teammates stood up. Dur- 
ing the summer, word had spread that there would be a new 
round of deployments to Iraq and the Middle East from Fort Car- 
son over the coming months, close to 7,000 by the time it was 
through. Not all of those who stood had a parent who would be 
shipping out to Iraq in the newest round. But some of them did. 
Brodie Pigott, a junior who played defensive end, was one of 
them; his father. Donald, a sergeant first class in the army, was 
scheduled to leave after the season ended. Junior offensive guard 
Mike Pritts, who had played all season with a sore shoulder, 
was another; his dad, Mike, a master sergeant in special oper- 
ations, would be shipping out as well. So would Antoinette Fish- 
er, the single mother of special-teams player Kenneth Fisher. 

This wasn't the first time Char- 
lie Paddock had felt the im- 
pact of the war on his home- 
town. On the surface, Fountain, with 
a population of roughly 20,000, 
about 15 miles south of Colorado 
Springs, was quintessentially Amer- 


Left, senior Charlie 
Paddock in the 
Trojans' locker room; 
above, the front of 
Carson High School. 

Baghdad training rookie soldiers in survival in the field, and hj 
mother, in Kuwait doing weapons inventory. He knew that oi 
side the tight realm of the Trojans there were other kids at his hig 
school in similar situations. Like junior Genevieve Hammerk 
Clark, whose grandparents had sold their home in Oregor 
bought a town house in Fountain, and moved a thousand mile 
to take care of Genevieve and her younger sister when thei 
mother, Jillian Hammerle, shipped out in March for at least 
year. Like junior Charmaine Locklin, racked with guilt over he 
wish that anyone besides her father, Joel Kempf, who would b< 
doing his second tour— anyone— would go in his place. Hadn" 
he already done his time? And why was it that the minute the 
had gotten used to each other again he was leaving? While she wa 
proud of her father for his service to hi 
country and respected President Bus! 
for the simple reason that he was th 
president, she wished that she couk 
speak to Bush, let him know the sadnes 
and fear she was feeling, let him see hen 
tears. "He's the one who is responsible 
for the hurt I have, the hurt my family has.: 
the hurt my friends have, and the best he 
can say is that he's mourning for our sol- 
diers, too. He'll never feel what we feel.'' 
The war in Iraq had become a fact 
of life at Fountain-Fort Carson High 
School, another kind of American re- 
ality—beyond the war of words, beyond 
the rhetoric of for it or against it, red 
state versus blue state. It was hardly new to Charlie Paddock. But 
still, there was something about that moment in Guy R. Barick- 
man Stadium that just got to him. Maybe it was all those peo- 
ple standing in the bleachers paying tribute to honor and duty 
to country, not simply with lip service but thinking of their po- 
tential sacrifice. Maybe it was the night itself, so breezy and 
beautiful in this valley of southern Colorado— mostly sod and 
alfalfa fields before the growth spurt that started in the late 80s 
turned Fountain into a bedroom community for the army post 
and Colorado Springs. Maybe it was the way the American flag, 
brought across the middle of the field by the color guard, flapped 
in the wind. Maybe it was the way his teammates lifted their 
helmets high when the words "'land of the free" were sung during 
the national anthem. This was a place, conservative and patriotic 
and steadfast in its support of the president, where the national an- 
them was always sung with particular gravity. But there was some- 

M AY 2 5 

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thing else that gnawed at Charlie Paddock that late-October night, 
the thing that would haunt him and stay with him long after the 
Cheyenne Mountain game came and went in a season of sports 
unlike virtually any other in America, with stakes so high that the 
winning and losing seemed almost irrelevant: Which of these kids' 
parents isn't going to come home? 

The Department of Defense has identified 935 American 
service members who have died since the start of the Iraq 
war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans 
yesterday: FUNKE, Kane M., 20, Lance Cpi, Marines; Vancouver, 
Wash; First Marine Division. MORRISON, Nicholas B., 23, Lance Cpl, 
Marines; Carlisle, Pa.; Second Marine Division, santoriello, 
Neil Anthony, 24, 1st Ll, Army; Verona, Pa.; First Infantry Division. 
—The New York Times, August 16, 2004. 

When football practice began at Fountam-Fort Carson High 
School in mid-August, it was obvious to head coach Mitch John- 
son that the team was going to have its share of growing pains 
this season. The 2003 team had made it to the quarterfinals of 
the state playoffs, but only two players with any sustained playing 
experience were returning. He knew he had big holes to fill with 
the departure of linemen Jerry McWilliams and Cory York, 
wide receiver Jerod Ermel, and quarterback Ryan Walker. But he 
also knew he had other things to deal with, things far more im- 
portant than how to defend against such upcoming opponents as 
Rampart and Widefield. The year before, he had let Cory York 
leave practice whenever he got a satellite call from his mother or 
stepfather. He had watched the mood of Jerry McWilliams flue- 


itch Johnson had been the head football coach of tl 
Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans since 1986, but his primj 
ry job at the school was dean of students. With his velvet! 
Burl Ives voice and his omnipresent bullhorn, exhorting "Here 
go, people, let's go!" as he prodded kids to get to class on timl 
he was the institutional memory of the school, the embodiment i 
what it stood for. It was Johnson who broke up the occasion| 
fight in the school cafeteria with a little sigh of "Here we go." 
was Johnson who used his body as a shield to keep the line in ol 
der during lunch. It was Johnson who hugged kids, and suppor 
ed them, and disciplined them, and always seemed to love then I 
even on afternoons when he looked bleary-eyed and exhausk ] 
and admitted that "they won the war." 

The school, up Jimmy Camp Road past a horse farm on one sic 
and a rusted cattle pen on the other, looks a little like a spaceship. I 
curved sheet of glass in the cafeteria shows off a stunning view c 
Pikes Peak and the front range of the Rocky Mountains. It cost $3 
million to build— no expense was spared. To a certain degree th 
school is a refuge, a place so physically beautiful that kids actuall 
like going there. But it has always had something of a revolving doo 
with new kids of military families freshly assigned to Fort Carso 
suddenly in, old kids of transferred military families suddenly out 
The school had weathered the deployments of Desert Storn 
and of peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Kuwait and Korea 
But the emotional rhythms of the school changed forever whe 
the second tower of the World Trade Center was hit on Septem 
ber 11. Before then, when only the first tower had been hit, then 
was still the vain prayer that what had happened was some terri 
ble accident. But the hit to the second tower made it clear tha 

The schools principal asked everyone in the stands 
with ties to the military to rise. Nearly half stood up. 

tuate with the volume of e-mails from his mother, as he spent part 
of his junior and senior years shuttling between families who had 
offered to care for him while his mom was in Iraq. The e-mails 
were precious, but far from adequate— they conveyed pain and 
love, and the frustration of being a parent when, for a year at 
least, you could not possibly be a parent, no matter how many 
words you typed into Yahoo. They conveyed her guilt about not 
being there when he applied for college football scholarships, 
her gentle admonition to send his grandparents a thank-you note 
and to make sure to order a five-by-seven graduation picture for 
them, her plea for a "better relationship and Don't use profanity 
with me," followed by this: 

Please write me soon I miss you very very much and I just am lonely 
without you guys. Another sucky Christmas and I don't get to come 
home yet. Please let me know what is going on . . . 

Love you forever and always 


The situation for the team in 2004 was slightly different. No 
player had a parent currently deployed overseas. But three had 
a parent who would be going to Iraq once the season was over, 
and so the war refused to relent in this American place with its 
S4-a-plate fire-department BBQ Ranch Supper & Dance and its 
Harvest Moon Dance and its Labor Day salute to the "Grand 
Old Flag." Besides Brodie Pigott and Mike Pritts and Kenneth 
Fisher, there were other players affected, though in different ways; 
defensive back Andre Faulkner's mom had been assigned to train- 
ing in Louisiana, which meant that the only way for Andre to stay 
in school in Fountain was to move in with a local couple, both 
of whom worked in the district. 

this was no accident, that it was a terrorist attack, and that retal- 
iation was inevitable. The school was locked down that day anc 
Fort Carson was on high-security alert. Chaos ruled as Johnson 
and other administrators tried to figure out how to get the students, 
hundreds of whom lived on the army post. home. America would 
be going to war, which would mean the deployment overseas of 
soldiers from Fort Carson, which Johnson knew would have a 
profound effect on his high school. 

When the news of the latest round of deployments hit Fort Car- 
son, Johnson estimated that as many as 400 students, a third of 
the student population, could be affected. As far as the school ad- 
ministrators knew, no parent of any student had been a casualty 
of the war, and there was great relief in that. But the possibility of 
death haunted every hallway. When school counselors met with 
a student whose grades had started to slip, or who had thrown a 
punch at another student, or who had snapped at a teacher in' 
class, one of the questions they now asked was whether the student i 
had a parent who was in Iraq or about to be deployed. 

"You see some really hurting babies," said counselor Lonnetta 
Wade-White— hard-as-steel students breaking into tears once the 
protective coatings were peeled and Wade-White discovered they 
did have a parent in Iraq. Students questioned the relevance of 
grades when all they could think about was the possibility of a 
parent dying, the injustice of the military re-deploying a parent 
who had already served in Iraq. "When parents are going back 
for a second time, it doesn't seem fair." said Wade-White, whose 
husband had been career military in the air force. "But telling a 
kid that doesn't help him get the reality of the situation." 

And that's why Johnson, when he thought of the students at 
his school— what so many had gone through and what so many 



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ere about to go through— said of them, 
They just don't live in a dreamworld here, 
"hey deal with a lot of things that a lot 
pf American youths don't deal with." 

The Department of Defense has 
identified 976 American service 
members who have died since the 
tart of the Iraq war. It confirmed 
he deaths of the following Americans 
esterday: aldrich, Nickalous N, 21, 
'.ance Cpl, Marines; Austin, Tex.; First Marine Division. 
iNDERSON, Carl L. Jr., 21, Airman First Class, Air Force; Georgetown, 
S.C.; Third Logistics Readiness Squadron, holleyman, Aaron N, 
26, Staff Sgt., Army; Glasgow, Mont.; First Battalion, Fifth Special 
Forces Group. LOPEZ, Edgar E„ 27, Sgt., Marines; Los Angeles; 24th 
Marine Expeditionary Unit, Second Expeditionary Force. 
skinner, Nicholas M, 20, Pfc, Marines; Davenport, Iowa; 11th 
Marine Expeditionary Unit, First Expeditionary Force. 

—The New York Times, September 1, 2004. 

in Roseburg, Oregon; Meadows Elementary, in Fort Hood, 
Texas; Park Glen Elementary, in Fort Worth, Texas; Wiirz- 
burg Elementary, in Wuerzburg, Germany; Jackson Elemen- 
tary, in Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Mahaffey Middle School, 
in Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Stevenson High School, in 
Livonia, Michigan; Roseburg High School, back in Oregon; 
and now Fountain-Fort Carson. 

Kenneth had spent 9th grade and part of 10th at Fort 
Benning, in Columbus, Georgia. Then he moved to Shreve- 
port, Louisiana, to live with his grandparents when his 
mother was assigned to duty in Korea. When she came 
back, in June of 2004, she had yet another new assign- 
ment—to Fort Carson. Kenneth didn't 
want to move a third time, in his se- 
nior year, to a school where he didn't 
know a soul. What's more, he had got- 
ten used to life in his mother's absence 
during her year in Korea— the full use 
of her Montero Sport, nobody hover- 
ing over him and questioning how he 
spent the money he made at the Foot 

A parent's return from assignment 
overseas was a little bit like a parachute 
drop into unknown territory. Kenneth 
and his mother had clashed at first, 
she wanting him to obey her rules now 
that she was back, and he telling her 
that in her absence he had been forced 
to grow up and be independent. "You 
haven't been here. You're trying to 
come back and make me change the 
way Eve been doing stuff for a year," 
he told her. "Em not the same person 
you left behind. I'm not a little kid any- 
more." When they drove from Shreveport to Colorado, the trip 
was almost unbearable. He was upset and made no effort to hide 
it, his stance clear and firm: I can't believe you pulled me out of 
school again. 

But the bond of mother and son had since been reforged, 
moving their relationship beyond the questions of curfew and mon- 
ey. (Like the time he bought a pink Yankees hat for $25 and she 
insisted that he take it back because it was a waste of money and 
he said he didn't want to take it back, even if it was a waste of mon- 

^hen the news of the latest deployments hit Fort Carson, 
he coach estimated that 400 students could be affected. 

When Kenneth Fisher arrived at Fountain-Fort Carson High 
School at the beginning of the 2004 school year, he hadn't played 
Football before. Johnson, ever cognizant that a football player here 
today could be gone tomorrow, given that as many as 35 percent 
of the students were new each year, noticed that he had size and 
a nice frame, and immediately invited him to come out for the 
team. Kenneth accepted and began to prepare with the rest of the 
Irojans for the September 3 season opener, against Canon City. 
Kenneth, a senior, was entering his third high school, typ- 
ical of the itinerancy that defines military life. Defensive end 
Brodie Pigott had lived in seven different places before his father 
was assigned to Fort Carson— Germany, Korea, Kentucky, Hawaii, 
South Carolina, Alaska, and Louisiana. Genevieve Hammerle- 
Clark had gone to 13 different schools and could list almost all of 
them— Fort Kobbe Elementary, in Panama; Hucrest Elementary, 

ey, because he had paid for it out of his own pocket, although he 
also had to confess that he had never actually worn it.) Even in 
the midst of their re-adjustment, however, Kenneth knew that 
their newfound connection would be temporary, that his mother, 
a staff sergeant specializing in aviation operations, would be de- 
ployed again, this time to Iraq. 

Antoinette Fisher had already missed her son's 12th, 15th, 
and 17th birthdays. She had missed her daughter Joanna's 
first, second, sixth, and seventh birthdays, and now would 
miss her eighth as well. Her deployment, at the beginning of 
March 2005, meant she might miss Kenneth's high-school grad- 
uation, a possibility that brought tears to her eyes. "Just missing 
that is hard," she said, not to mention missing the other things 
in Kenneth's life and the lives of her other three children, the small 

A AY 2 5 

www.vonityfoir com | VANITY FAIR 1 65 


things that most parents take for granted— making sure that the 
little ones had their hair brushed before they left for school; tak- 
ing the youngest, Alex, to Boy Scouts: standing in the bedroom 
doorway and watching her kids sleep. 

Then there were the logistics she faced as a 40-year-old single 
parent. How to keep the routines of her four children intact while 
she was away. How to do the best she could do when there was 
no best way. She knew she could not keep them together during 
her one-year absence, so she would be sending her two youngest 
children to Shreveport to live with her mom. As for Kenneth, she 
had decided that at the age of 18 he would become the head of 
the household for several months, remaining in the town house 
at Fort Carson until the end of the school year and taking care of 
his 15-year-old sister, Jocelyn. At least that way he wouldn't have 
to move to his fourth high school in the middle of his senior year. 

The Department of Defense has identified 1,003 America^ 
service members who have died since the start of the Ira\ 
war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans 
yesterday: AVE/ROS, Yoe M., 20, Specialist, Army; Newark; Firs\ 
Armored Division. BOURDON, Elvis, 36, Staff Sgt., Army; 
Youngstown, Ohio; First Cavalry Division. Faulkner, James D.\ 
23, Sgt., Army; First Cavalry Division. McCAULET, Ryan M., 2C 
Pfc, Army; Lewisville, Tex.; First Cavalry Division, read, 
Brgndon M., 21, Specialist, Army; Greeneville, Tenn.; 125th 
Transportation Company. 

—The New York Times, September 11, 2( 

Coach Johnson saw in Kenneth Fisher the kind of player vJ 
complements any football team regardless of experience or skil 
low-maintenance and undemanding. He tried to work him if 
special-team situations, but Fisher didn't get a lot of play! 
time. The inexperience of the team meant a struggle from 
very beginning. In the opener, in early September, a 7-0 loss| 
Canon City, the Trojans were beset by six illegal-motion per 
ties against the offense. The second game, the Pikes Peak Ccl 
ference opener, against Pine Creek, on September 10, resulted} 
another loss, 10-0. 

As he reviewed the games on film, Johnson fretted over 
fundamentals, breakdowns in blocking and tackling, not to mt 
tion the continued epidemic of motion penalties, 10 in only t\| 
games. "We must have a great week of fundamentals if we expe 
to win," wrote Johnson in his weekly handout to players, this oi 
before the third game of the season, against Pueblo East. "Ead 
of you must accept the responsibility to refine your skills at ead 

individual position then mix thej 
into the pot called T.E.A.M." 

But even in the early gestatk 
of the season, there were sonl 
positive rumblings. Andre Faul j 
ner. who like Kenneth Fisher ha 
never played football before, hal 
the makings of a smart and quit! 
defensive back. He was a goo J 
basketball player, so the coachJ 
told him to think of it as baske j 
ball on grass. Charlie Paddock, i J 
spite of an injury that had caused 
him to miss much of the 200.1 

"They just dont live in a dreamworld here. They deal with 
a lot of things that a lot of American youths dorit deal with." 

She made arrangements for Jocelyn's father to regularly check in 
on the two children. And there were friends on the post whom she 
trusted to look in on them. 

She had weighed the pros and cons in her mind, and this was 
the best she could do. She didn't want pity for that. Nobody had 
forced her to join the army full-time seven years ago, when she 
signed up after having held as many as three jobs at once. The 
army gave her family financial stability, put food on the table. 

Kenneth welcomed the challenge < > r running the house and 
caring for his sister, felt ready to ris< to the responsibility. He 
listed the duties that would become his mice his mother went 
away: "Take care of the home. Take care of the bills. Take care 
of myself. Take care of my sister. Make re there is food in the 
fridge. Cut the grass. Keep the whole hoi mi. Stay in school. 

Manage the money. 

"I guess I got a lot on my plate." he concluded. 

season, had come back at both tight end and outside linebacker. 
Perhaps the nicest surprise on the team had been at the defensive- 
end spot, where Brodie Pigott ranked second on the team in tack- 
les and assists with a combined nine after two games. 

His parents, Donald and Cathy, felt not only pride in his 
success but also relief, since Brodie hadn't been sure 
he even wanted to play football after a rocky year on 
the junior varsity. The thought mortified his parents, given 
their own football roots— Donald had been a high-school foot- 
ball star back in Tylertown, Mississippi, and Cathy had been 
a cheerleader in nearby Brookhaven. They both loved foot- 
ball, lived for it. When it became clear that Brodie was seri- 
ous about not playing in 2004, Cathy Pigott rented Remem- 
ber the Titans in the hopes of re-invigorating him. She juiced 
up the volume in the town house they maintained in Fort 



MAY 2005 


nally, a luxury car designed to protect you from blending in. 

The state 
of independence. 


Carson. "Look at that hit!" she cried. "Listen to that sound!" 

Brodie took it all in. "Mom, you're crazy." 

But he finally did relent after Coach Johnson spoke to him and 
coaxed him back into it with his arm-around-the-shoulder pater- 
nalism. Brodie wore the red-white-and-blue uniform of the Trojans 
once again, and beautiful as the sight was to Donald Pigott, there 
was also something bittersweet about it, given that even early in 
the season, Donald, a sergeant first class specializing in mainte- 
nance, had begun to count down the days to his deployment. 

It was hard to believe a son could have a closer relation- 
ship with his father. They shared simpatico silences and a love 
of the outdoors. When Brodie was two years old, Donald cov- 
ered him with bug repellent and took him fishing for seven 
hours in the Toledo Bend Reservoir, in Louisiana. When Brodie 
was a young teenager and the family was stationed in Fairbanks, 
Alaska, Donald hoisted the boy up onto his shoulders as they 
hunted moose at White Mountain in 50-below temperatures. 
Brodie Pigott was a quiet kid, a yes-sir-no-sir kid. At 5 feet 11 
he was small for a defensive end, but he was relentless. Because 
he didn't say much, he kept largely to himself what he felt about 
his father's going to war. 

His teammate Mike Pritts, whose father, Mike, 36, was a mas- 
ter sergeant in special operations, was the same way. "You have 
to pull teeth to get him to say anything," his mother, Beth, said of 
him. His whole persona at school, from the black T-shirts to the 
spiked hair to the don't-mess-with-me sneer in the cafeteria, was 
one of imperviousness. What he thought about his father's going 
didn't percolate to the outside, and he didn't want to think about 
Iraq. He didn't want to know what was going on, so to the extent 
that he could he avoided news coverage about it and created his 
own world of intense distraction— his art. his guitar, wrestling 
during the winter and football during the fall. Despite the pain in 
his shoulder, a pain so severe that he sometimes just collapsed 
on the field after a hit, he came into his own on the offensive line 
as the season progressed. Coach Johnson saw him mature on the 
football field, but the closer his father's scheduled deployment 

middle of October, a 27-0 loss to Pueblo Centennial, and n| 
the last home game of the season, against Cheyenne Mount 

Donald and Cathy Pigott were in the stands that nig 
watching Brodie play. Beth and Mike Pritts were there, tc 
The game was going badly, with players on the defense yelli| 
at one another after a blown assignment that had led U 
touchdown. The Trojans were on their way to their seventh 
feat of the season with only one game left, heart and desire 
match for experience. 

But Cathy Pigott thought about other things as she watched tl 
game. With Donald next to her, their time together slipping awj 
she felt so proud of him for what he was about to do, vainly wis 
ing she could go with him, help him fight his war, just as he hJ 
helped her fight, hers several years earlier when she lost both hi 
breasts to cancer while in her early 40s. Like Charlie Paddock, si 
looked to the American flag that night, the way it flapped in t | 
wind, and as she watched it she realized "that for every wave 
that flag, everybody had shed a tear" to keep it so fierce and frej 

The Department of Defense has identified 1,122 American 
service members who have died since the start of the Iraq\ 
war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans 
yesterday: baro, Jeremiah A., 21, Cpl, Marines; Fresno, Calif. ,H 
First Marine Division, hvbbard, Jared P., 22, Lance Cpl, Mahncs\ 
Clovis, Calif; First Marine Division. 

—The New York Times, November 6, 2004 

In the handout he had worked on at home the last Sunday of Octc I 
ber and distributed to the players that week, Mitch Johnson made i| 
clear there was a way to salvage the season, with a win in the fina 
game, against Sand Creek. "Seniors this is the last time that you 
play H.S. football. Make the moment last by a hard fought wir 

against the Scorpions How do you want to finish the season?'] 

With 1:22 left in the first period, Charlie Paddock respondec 
to his coach's challenge by catching a 27-yard TD pass from 
quarterback Ben Valdez. The try for two points failed, making 

Something else gnawed at Charlie Paddock that night 
Which of these kids' parents isn't going to come home? 

date got, the more withdrawn Mike Pritts became. And Johnson 
could only imagine what was going on inside the mind of the 16- 
year-old, "knowing that the day was coming, and not wanting it 
to come, but having no control over time." 

The Department of Defense has identified 1,082 American 
service members who have died since the start of the 
Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans 
yesterday: baker, Ronald W., 34, Specialist, Army National 
Guard; Cabot, Ark.; 39th Support Battalion, regnier, Jeremy E, 
22, Specialist, Army; Littleton, N.H.; First Cavalry Division. 

—The New York Times, October 16, 2004. 

After losing their first two games, the Trojans defeated Pueblo 
East, 12-7. Charlie Paddock caught a pass for 15 yards and logged 
11 tackles and assists. Andre Faulkner had a combined 7 tackles 
and assists, and Brodie Pigott 4, to raise his season total to 13. 
Mike Pritts did a nice job at left guard and Kenneth Fisher got in 
a little playing time. Johnson could only hope that a corner had 
been turned, but the schedule was getting harder, not easier, and 
the Trojans lost their next three games. Their record dropped 
to one and five. Three home games followed after that, and the 
results so far were mixed: a 24-0 win over Widefield in the 

the score 6-0. In the second quarter, Sand Creek quarterback 
John Olsen connected with hotshot wide receiver Tyler Carson 
for a 45-yard score, tying the game. The Scorpions missed their 
extra-point try, and the score remained 6-6. 

The Scorpions and the Trojans traded the ball back and forth 
after that. Neither team was able to sustain much of anything, 
and when the Trojans got the ball on their own 20-yard line with 
a little more than three minutes left in the half, the odds of going 
80 yards for a score were slim, given the problems the offense 
had all season getting into the end zone. But Travis Cronin went 
for 2 yards, and then Valdez scrambled for 12 and a first down, 
with the ball on their own 34. Brad Birks ran for 4 yards, and 
Ac'am Lozano for 11 for another first down, the ball now just 
inside the 50-yard line. With the clock winding down to less than 
a minute and the Trojans with the ball on the Scorpion 40 after 
another first down, Valdez dropped back to pass. He found Nick 
Martinez free. Martinez cradled it in and scored with 26 seconds 
left. This time the try for two points was good. The Trojans went 
into the locker room with a 14-6 lead. 

Their lead held through the second half, giving the Trojans their 
third win of the season. It held because of the play of Andre 
Faulkner, who intercepted a pass at a crucial moment to kill a 
Scorpion drive. It held because of the play of Mike Pritts. who, in 


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l)me rare playing time on defense, was all 

i/er the ball and had four tackles and as- 

ists. It held because of the play of Bro- 

ie Pigott, who had 7 tackles and assists 

>r a total of 60 on the season and was 

n his way to being named second-team 

Mike Pritts and Donald Pigott sat next 
each other in the stands that night. 

hey were as giddy as children as they 

matched their sons. Beth Pritts could see 

lem living through their boys, as fathers 

wariably do. There was no better way to 
nd the season than with a win. She also 
new the thought that crossed their minds 
10 matter how much joy they felt: Who 
:nows what's going to be happening to 
ne in the next several months? As for 
Cenneth Fisher, he wasn't going to lie 
ibout it— he was frustrated with the small 
imount of playing time he had gotten during the season. But 
lis mother's pride in seeing her son in his first football uniform 
jefore she left for Iraq was immense, and Kenneth knew it had 
)een worth it to stick it out. 
The win against Sand Creek was a marvelous endnote for the 

American Canyon, Calif.; First 
Marine Division. 

—The New York Times, 
November 22, 2004. 

Mike Pritts's dad was the first to leave. 
By his deployment date, toward the 
end of November, he and his wife, 
Beth, had worked out much of the 
nitty-gritty of running the household: 
how to handle the money, with two 
carefully typed budgets for Beth to 
follow, since by her own admission 
she wasn't very good with finances; 
which bills would be paid online and 
which ones would be automatic 
drafts; what to do with Qwest and 
Adelphia and Dodge and Toyota. 
The day before Mike Pritts left, both 
of his sons, Mike and Dylan, stayed 
home from school so they could be 
with their dad. He took them to Hoot- 
ers over in the Springs, where Dylan 
had a hamburger and his brother a 
steak quesadilla. 


he next morning, November 
22, Mike and his wife, Beth, got 
up at about three and had cof- 
fee. Mike got dressed in his uniform 
and started putting gear into the Toy- 
ota truck he would drive by himself 
to meet his company. The couple had 
decided it would be easier for him to 
drive himself and have Beth pick up 
the truck later. There was little use 
in prolonging what was already so 
difficult. He walked up the small 
flight of stairs toward his sons' bedrooms. He leaned over and 
kissed Mike, who was still asleep. He went into Dylan's room 
and placed a note on his desk with a patch attached to it with a lit- 
tle pin. A bloody-mouthed skull was in the middle of the patch, 
and, underneath, it read, nous defions, French for "We defy." 

He matured on the field, but the closer his father s 
deployment date got, the more withdrawn Mike became. 

Irojans, an inexperienced team that had fought and persevered and 
.eemed on its way to something even better in the season of 2005. 
Brodie Pigott would be back. Mike Pritts would be back. So would 
he quarterback Ben Valdez and running back Adam Lozano. The 
lucleus of something special was there, and maybe their team could 
•ealistically compete for the Pikes Peak league title, but underlying 
t all was the other reality for the Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans, 
he one that would be there for as long as America was at war. 

The Department of Defense has identified 1,217 American 
service members who have died since the start of 
the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following 
Americans yesterday: hanks, Michael W., 22, Lance Cpl, 
Marines; Gregory, Mich.; First Marine Division. Gavriel, Dimitrios, 
29, Lance Cpl, Marines; New York; Second Marine 
Division, htst, Phillip G., 19, Lance Cpl, Marines; 

"I want you to keep my sniper patch for me while I'm gone," 
Mike Pritts wrote in the note to his younger son. "Hell, you're a 
better shot anyway." 

He wanted to leave as quietly as he could. But Dylan had set 
his alarm clock to make sure he would wake up. He followed 
his dad downstairs in his pajama pants. They talked for a little 
bit, and Mike Pritts reiterated that he wanted his son to keep 
his sniper patch for him until he got home, sometime in the 
summer. That would have him back home in Fountain in plenty 
of time to see his older son play another season of football. He 
told Dylan to be good to Mom, and Dylan fought to be manly 
about it all in the way his brother was manly. The family would 
be able to communicate with their father by e-mail and occasion- 
al phone calls, and that would make it easier. 

His dad thought Dylan would make leaving even harder than it 
was. But Dylan was a champ. He sat beside his dad, then hugged 

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him. He went back to his bedroom and 
waved out the window. Still, Dylan was 
only 13. As he watched his dad leave, he 
couldn't help doing what he didn't want to 
do as the son of a soldier. He cried. 

After Mike Pritts arrived overseas, he 
contacted Beth. He told her about the 
flight, how there had been a group of 
young Marines on board. They were nice 
enough, he said, but it had been hard to 
talk with them, because he knew where 
they were going and what they were get- 
ting into. A phrase had come to mind as 
he looked at them, and it bothered him so 
much because they were such nice kids, 
but still he couldn't get it out of his head: 
Dead man walking. It's what he thought 
about as he looked at the Marines, not 
much older than his own son. 

The Department of Defense has 
identified 1,270 American service 
members who have died since the start 
of the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of 
the following Americans yesterday: behnke, 
Joseph O., 45, Cpl, Army National Guard; 
Brooklyn; First Battalion, 258th Field Artillery. 
eggers, Kyle A., 27, Staff Sgt., Army; 
Euless, Tex.; Second Infantry Division. 
—The New York Times, December 8, 2004. 

For Donald Pigott, the final week leading 
up to his deployment was the hardest that 
he had ever gone through, knowing that 
he would be leaving his family behind. "The 
main thing I tried to accomplish was to 
never leave their side," he later wrote in an 
e-mail. "I didn't want to be separated any 
more than I had to." 

Shortly before Donald left Fort Carson, 
his wife, Cathy, wrote him a letter on a piece 
of white muslin, saying she would love him 
forever, and Donald attached it to his bullet- 
proof vest with black duct tape so it would 
be with him wherever he went in Iraq. He 
wasn't gung-ho about going, and it wasn't 
just his wife and son he was leaving, but also 
their daughter, Jessie, who was at a junior 
college in Mississippi. But he had pride in 
his army uniform and the duty that went 
with it. "It's not that he wanted to go," said 
Cathy, "but he did not like the question 
'Have you been to Iraq?' Nobody wants to 
go to war, nobody, but you have to love your 
country. And we both love our country." 

On December 8, Cathy and Donald 
awoke at two a.m in their three-bedroom 
house at Fort Carson. They got dressed 
and walked down the staircase, past the 
little framed embroidery that said, home 

ing on the white wall. They went past the 
bookcase that held the family pictures, 
Donald as a high-school football player, 
Cathy as a cheerleader. Tracker, their be- 
loved yellow Labrador, got up from his 

chair in the family room, perhaps sensing 
something momentous. 

Donald walked into his son's room, 
with its football trophies from his seasons 
with the Schofield Buffaloes and the Fort 
Wainwright Cowboys and the fishtank 
that had no fish and the little plaques of 
football greats Deion Sanders and Barry 
Sanders and Brett Favre. He kissed his 
son on the top of his head, and his son 
didn't stir, and then Cathy and Donald got 
into their Sierra truck and drove a short 
distance to a parking lot off Wetzel Avenue 
flanked by a series of low-slung buildings. 
Cathy noticed the lights as she went into 
the parking lot, not white but a mix of 
orange and yellow, and she found them sur- 
real. She saw the long, orderly line of duf- 
fel bags that seemed to stretch forever. 
There was chaos— soldiers preparing for the 
long trip, families who had lived on the post 
now moving. But even in the chaos it was 
so very quiet. 

Cathy watched a soldier run across the 
front lawn of a building with his child, and 
she saw many young soldiers huddled with 
young wives holding babies in their arms. 
She hoped that her husband's deployment 
to Iraq would be his last; he would have 
his 20 years in, and he would retire. They 
had done their time, and they would move 
to Mississippi, where they would get their 
own house, and the first thing Cathy would 
do would be to stay up all night and paint 
the walls every color she could think of, 
since, she said, she was not allowed to paint 
the walls of the military housing where she 
lived any color other than white. 

The military life was different now. As 
long as there was a war, it would be differ- 
ent, and nobody could say with certainty 
when this war would end. As Cathy watched 
the young soldiers with their young wives 
and their little babies, she wondered how 
many times this scene would be repeated 
if those families decided to stay in the army, 
dedicate their lives to it, as she and her hus- 
band had elected to do. 

Cathy parked and sat inside the Sierra 
truck for a few minutes. She could have 
stayed for breakfast, but she didn't want 
her husband to have to linger anymore in 
her sadness. She told him she would love 
him forever, just as she had written to him 
on the white muslin. She told him never 
to let his guard down, and she kissed him 
and hugged him and then drove back home. 
When she saw Brodie later on that morn- 
ing, she mentioned how he hadn't awoken 
when his father kissed him good-bye. 

"\bu didn't even know your daddy kissed 
you on your head," she said to him. 

But Brodie did know, his silence the only 
way he could handle the final touch of his 
father before he went off to war. 

"Oh yes I did, Mama." □ | VA N I T Y FAIR | 173 

Once upon a time, when NJ 
York City lived and breathe 
there was a man marked ll 
death, just like us all. 

His name was Arnold Rothstein, and 
was the only God he worshipped, and 
was a great and wicked man. 

November 25, 1928. From Lieutenai 
Francis A. Stainkamp, Commandi\ 
Officer, 9th Precinct, to Chief Medk\ 
Examiner. Subject: Case No. 6293, Arno\ 

At 10:45 P.M., November 4, 1928, Arnol 
Rothstein, 912 5th Ave, 46 yrs, was shot, root 
349, Park Central Hotel, 200 West 56 Stree 

Apparently had been engaged in card gam 
with others in room 349 on 3rd floor of th 
Park Central Hotel, when an unknown ma 
shot him and threw revolver out of the \v 
dow to street. Body found lying near stairs i 
employees entrance to hotel. . 

Was attended by Dr. McGovern of Cit 
Hospital and removed to Polyclinic Hospita 
suffering from gunshot wound of abdomen 

Mordecai Manuel Noah, a writer anc 
civic leader, observed in 1819 thai 
there was no record in New York oj 
a Jew committing murder. When was 
that this changed? When and where i- 
that drop of blood on the map of time and 
place, that irrevocable 


Arnold Rothstein was the inspiration for 

Meyer Wolfsheim, the sinister gangster in The Great 

Gatsby. He was said to have fixed the 1919 

World Series. And. in 1928, his murder shook the 

hidden power structure of Jazz Age New York 

to its hones. But eight decades later, the truth ahout 

Rothstein remains elusive 



Rothstein in July 1928, 

four months before 

his death. Inset, the 

press grapples with his moment of true anc 

r^rky legacy. final assimilation? 

Popular legend has 
made much of the figure of Edward "Monk 
Eastman" Osterman. often assigning him 
the role of the first Jewish gangster. He 
was a late-19th-century ward thug who 
did the bidding of the political bosses: 
election enforcements, collections, shake- 
downs, errands of everyday perdition. In 
return he was allowed to do some bidding 
of his own. Tammany Hall discarded him 
in 1904. 

Dwelling amid the low echelons of ward 


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corruption until his 
banishment, Monk Eastman was 
a brute and a malefactor, but he was not 
a killer. The same cannot be said of cer- 
tain of his Italian-American contemporaries. 

New York County Surrogate's Court, 
31 Chambers Street. January 9, 1929. 
Examination by the Honorable Thom- 
as I. Sheridan, attorney for Mr. Maurice 
F. Cantor, Esq., executor, legatee, and pro- 
ponent of [Arnold Rothstein's] will: 

Zoe Beckley had 
spunk. She was a 
woman making her 
way in the journalism rack- 
et at a time when it was a boys' club. It 
is she who gives us the only portrait from 
life for which Rothstein ever sat. It is a 
portrait in miniature, and, like court por- 
traits of old, which painted away the scars 
of smallpox and of plague, it is a portrait 
in which the subject guides the painter's 

Beckley writes in The Brooklyn Daily- 
Eagle of Sunday, November 27, 1927: 

Now and then there flashes in the world 
of business, finance, sport, art or theatricals 
a colorful figure which comes we know not 
whence or how. 

Such a personage is Arnold Rothstein, 
who can make or break a racetrack, a 


Far \eh, New York mayor 
Jimmy Walker leaving 
court, 1932, after fallout 
from Rothstein's death 
triggered investigations 
into civic corruption. 
Above, Tammany Hall. 

sleeves of his white silk shirt and get rightl 
ter you. And when he's finished the ami 
lance will be coming for you, clang-a-lanjj 
lang. . . . 

"Know why you hear so much 
about me?" he queries amiably after 
have crashed your way into his officel 
45 W. 57th St., Manhattan, having waiJ 
hours in vain and tried to keep innum| 
able appointments made by his hard-pr 

"No," we answer, like Brother Bontj 
'Why do we hear bad about you?' 
^^^^^^^ "Because the majority I 
the human race are du| 
and dumbbells and have 
ten judgment and no br 
and if you have a few brai] 
and have learned how 
do things and size up peoj 
and situations, and dope 
methods for yourself, thd 
jump to the conclusion you'i 

Beckley played the game well: 

You gather by this time that Arnold Rot 
stein is a person to reckon with. He is. 
like most men of his type, he has a mo$ 
amazing emotional side to his nature, a na 
ture that is sentimental, sympathetic, geneij 
ous, kind and affectionate— the sort of affec 
tion that makes him speak of his beloved 
father with dropped voice and misted ey 

"My father now— there's a man!" says 
nold. "Man of character and heart. A p 
lanthropist. A smart man. A great man. 
good man. He is my ideal. Why don't you] 
talk to him if you want a real story?" 

At last, from the heights of contemplation j 
"My code of life is absolutely simple," Roth] 
stein tells the seeker. "Help a friend, be 
friend." And what of happiness? It was to b 

What is your name? 

Martha Goerdel. 

Were you one of the nurses in attendance 
on Arnold Rothstein, deceased? 


Did you hear Mr. Cantor say to the de- 
ceased, 'Arnold, 1 have vour will".' 


Did the patient make any response? 

Not that I could see. 

Now what did he do, or what took place 
when the pen was placed in the left hand of 
Mr. Rothstein? 

He made no effort to grasp the pen at all. 

In your opinion was this man of sound 
mind when you signed that will [as a witness]? 


Was the man irrational? 

Yes, most of the time. 

Tell me one thing that the patient said that 
impressed you as being irrational. 

I would not dare repeat it. 

gambling house, a stock deal, a real estate 
development or a newspaper (almost). He 
used to be called America's greatest gambler, 
but he says he has left that phase of his ca- 
reer behind. Ask any fairly informed person 
who Rothstein is and the answer will vary 
from "Oh, he's a crook" to "Gee— he's a 
wow! A sportsman, a promoter of big deals, 
a multi-millionaire, a sentimentalist, a hard- 
boiled egg, a whale of a good fellow and a 
power to reckon with." 

There has not been a big prize-fight, a 
gold rush, a Wall Street flurry, a great horse- 
race or a real estate boom in years that Roth- 
stein hasn't had a hand in somehow. A tor- 
rent of men pour through his offices from 
early morn till dewy eve, and after. . . . 

Mr. Rothstein probably has more friends 
than any other man in the United States. 
The reason he has is that he knows how to 
be a friend. It seems to be his religion. But 
don't double cross him or he will roll up the 

found in "being a good scout, keeping busy 
and helping people." 

Arnold Rothstein was then at the height 
of his wealth and power. His career 
had begun under Tammany Hall's 
auspices, and he was now thriving in his 
association with Judge George W. Olvany, 
who had taken over as Tammany boss in 
1924. The mayor at that time was John F. 
Hylan, a Tammany man in his second term 
who had begun to live up to his nickname 
of Honest John. He decided to run for a 
third term in 1925, but was defeated in the 
primary by State Senator James J. Walker. 
Walker, the most celebrated not only 
of Tammany mayors but of all New York 
mayors, was a man of the speakeasies, old 
neighborhood ways, and the Great White 


MAY 2005 


k» v » 



• ••••"* 

• - 


Way. He smoked, drank, lived well, showed 
up at the mayor's office as he saw fit. The 
heart of the city was his. 

During the campaign, Hylan had warned 
of "the wide-open town which Judge Ol- 
vany and the Tammany designee for mayor 
will give you if they are successful on pri- 
mary day." Mayor Hylan mentioned "the 
big gambler" who was the true dictator of 
Tammany. Speaking publicly on the evening 
of August 27, 1925, Hylan stated the iden- 
tity of "the big gambler," which most al- 
ready knew: Arnold Rothstein. 

When Jimmy Walker won the election 
that fall, New York entered its greatest time 
as a city, and it was wilder by far than "the 
wide-open town" that Hylan had warned 
against. It was a city where you could get 
whatever you wanted, whenever you want- 
ed it. 

It would last less than four years, its end 
as attributable to the aftermath of Rothstein's 
end as to the stock-market crash of October 
1929. The nighttime rhapsody of the Jazz 
Age would give way then to "Brother, Can 
You Spare a Dime?" But that brief span, 

There is a single bullet wound situated in 
the right belly, 314 inches to the right of the 
midline, 3814 inches above the right heel, 214 
inches in front of the right anterior superior 
iliac spine and 14 inch above it. 

The guts are very warm. 

Brain weighs 1400 grams. 

sepsis and shock: Bullet wound of the 
belly, large gut, urinary bladder, prostate and 
pelves; Homicide. 


High tan shoes, marked Robert Whyte, 
38 West 45th St., New York. 

Fancy multicolored tie. Label: F. Georges. 
Boul. Des Capucines, Paris, France. 

Blue garters. Lisle socks with white feet. 

Turned down blue Lane 15 1/2 collar, laun- 
dry mark 2633, covered with dry vomitus. 

Blue coat with red pin-stripes. Label: 
Wm. Wallach, NY With vomitus on the col- 
lar and shoulders. There is a single hole just 
below the front edge of the lower pocket. 
No flares. Trousers of the same material. 
On the right side, upper portion, there is 
also a hole which passes through the label 
of the tailor attached to the pocket: Wm. 

dered if Katcher ever laughed aloud as 
wrote it. 

My true purpose here, above all othe 
is to unearth the facts, the true facts, 
Arnold Rothstein's life. 

Why Rothstein's life? I will tell you whj 
because Arnold Rothstein is a shadow fij 
ure beyond good and evil. And if that shaJ 
ow is ultimately unknowable, as it muj 
be, I am resolved that it should not go 1 1 
timately misknown, or wrongly known. A 
it has been. Let others tell you the shacj 
and length of Christ's hair without offerir 
a single bare fact establishing his existenc 

There was no receiving station for ii 
migrants in New York in 1852. Thj 
shipping-company representative gavl 
a passenger manifest to the collector ol 
customs, and the immigrants disembarked 
onto the wharf. So it was that Joshua Roth 
stein, maker and merchant of caps— Ha 
Rothstein now: new land, new name— wer 
forth into the rabble. 

He established himself at 


from 1926 to 1929, was a time of life and 
freedom that would reverberate, though 
ever more faintly, through the spirit of the 
city in the 50 and more years to come— re- 
verberate until the New York that once had 
been was as dead as Arnold Rothstein. 

As he sat in his office like a preacher 
that autumn day in 1927, telling Zoe Beck- 
ley of the simple ways of virtue, he had 
less than a year left to live. 

Dr. Charles Norris, the first chief med- 
ical examiner of New York City, has 
been remembered as a dignified gen- 
tleman in a frock coat . . . 


Approximate Age: 46 Yrs. 

Body is that of a middle-aged white male, 
appearing to be the age given, scale weight 
169 pounds, 5 ft 7 inches in height, well 
formed, well developed. 

Body is warm, no rigor mortis, well mus- 
cled and well built. 

Nose natural, lips natural. 4 days growth 
of hair. 

There is a false rubber plate in the upper 
[jaw]. Lower jaw shows goldwork, right low- 
er lateral incisor and also goldwork on the 
canines. The premolars are absent. The first 
molar is present. Left lower all absent. 

In the penis there is a catheter retained 
by tape. Foreskin cut. 

Wallach, N.Y, NY. Custom Tailor. Arnold 
Rothstein, 10/29/27. 

Silk shirt. Label: Harry Beck, Custom 
Shirt Manufacturer. With the initials A.R. and 
a hole in a corresponding position. 

When I set out to write this tale, I 
was intrigued by the figure of Ar- 
nold Rothstein. I still am. But as 
I researched more deeply, I came to see 
that the picture of him that history has 
given us was wrong. "Natura abhorret vac- 
uum," says Rabelais's drunkard begging 
wine for cup and gut. But it is not so 
much nature that abhors a vacuum, but 
rather journalists and popular histori- 
ans. Most of what has been written 
about Arnold Rothstein derives largely 
from several standard sources, bought 
wholesale and embellished through the 
years. The authors of these sources, or 
their editors, abhorred a vacuum. When 
there was no wine, they made it in the 

There is, for instance, the fantasia of 
The Big Bankroll The Life and Times of 
Arnold Rothstein, written by Leo Katcher 
in 1958 and published by Harper in 1959. 
Since then, Katcher's book has been ac- 
cepted and used as the standard reference, 
but its invented dialogue places it well in- 
side the realm of parody, and I have won- 

Baxter Street, in the heart of the 
neighborhood known as the Five Points. 
There were more than 12,000 needle-and- 
thread men working in New York in 1855. 
Harris Rothstein, cap-maker, was one of I 

Abraham Elijah Rothstein, American, 
son of Harris and Rosa Rothstein, was 
born on November 24, 1856. He would 
follow his father into the garment trade. 

Abraham Rothstein's obituary in T)\e 
New York Times on November 21, ' 
1939, would say that he brought about 
the settlement in 1926 of the infamous 19- 
week strike that affected more than 40,000 
garment workers. He was known, said the 
obituary, as Abe the Just. 

Years later David Dubinsky, a former 
president of the International Ladies' Gar- 
ment Workers' Union, recalled that strike. 
His praise for Abe the Just was well pot- 
ted, but the truth eventually broke from the 

[The strike leaders] turned to a retired 
manufacturer, A.E. Rothstein, whose phil- 
anthropic activities and basic decency had 
earned him great respect. This scholarly 
man had a son Arnold, who had estab- 
lished himself in New York's underworld. 
He was in every racket from white slavery 
to dope 

When the Communist strike leaders came 


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to the elder Rothstein, he said he was too re- 
moved from activity in the employer associa- 
tion to be of great help as a peacemaker. But 
he put them in touch with one of the most 
prominent manufacturers, who minced no 
words in telling them that the man they 
ought to see was not the father but the son. 
The younger Rothstein was more than hap- 
py to help. Maybe he thought his father 
would be pleased that he was doing some- 
thing constructive for a change. More proba- 
bly, this astute manipu- 

with no visible independent means of sup- 
port. In 1910, Arnold Rothstein is well 
off. well known, and mysteriously well 

Big Tim Sullivan was a hell of a man. 
He had been born down there, on the 
East Side, in the old Sixth Ward, in 
1863. And now he ruledMt, all of it. If 
you went below 14th Street in New York 
City, you were in Big Tim's territory. 

back when the Jewish vote meant notbi 
Judge Albert Cardozo, a Sephardic Jc 
had been a key man in Boss Tweed's 
Max Rothberg, Abe Finkelstein, and tl 
alderman Max Levine were a part of Si| 
livan's crew. 

Big Tim's minion Monk Eastman hi 
fallen from grace in 1904. Arnold Rotl 
stein, who was 22 that year, was a diffe[ 
ent sort of Jewboy entirely. Eastman 
no class. He looked like a man rous« 
from a dago garbage scow. 



lator saw a chance 

to muscle in on the garment industry. That 
was exactly what his lieutenants, Louis 
"Lepke" Buchalter and Jacob "Gurrah 
Jake" Shapiro, did after Rothstein himself 
was murdered. 

On September 3, 1879, Abraham Roth- 
stein, now 22, married 19-year-old 
Esther Rothschild of San Francisco. 
They lived together at 270 Madison Street, 
with his parents. Essie gave birth to a son 
in the Madison Street apartment on July 
18. 1880. They named him Bertram. 

After the birth of their son, Abraham 
and Essie moved to 325 East 20th Street. 
Esther was pregnant again, in the spring 
of 1881. It was another son. He was born 
on a Tuesday and he would die on a Tues- 
day. The day of his birth was January 17, 
1882. They named him Arnold. 

Two daughters and two more sons fol- 
lowed between 1883 and 1891. While there 
are birth certificates for some of the Roth- 
stein children, there is none for Arnold. 
New York State laws requiring the regis- 
tration of births were not enacted until the 
early 20th century. We have no real glimpse 
of Arnold until the so-called police cen- 
sus of 1890, conducted by officers 
of the city police. He is listed 
as the second of his parents' 
children, aged eight. 

We have no sight of Arnold 
Rothstein again until the first 
week of June 1900, when he ap- 
pears in the 12th Census of the 
United States. Directly under his 
parents, listed first among the chil- 
dren, is: "Arnold, son, white, male, 
age eighteen, single." His profession 
is stated as "Stock Clerk Clothing." 
Bertram Rothstein had died at the age 
of 16, on September 6, 18%. Arnold 
was now the eldest son. 

In 1904, at age 22, he is in the me- 
nial employ of his father. For the next 
three years, he is living with his parents 


Though he ruled every vice racket, Big 
Tim was not a man of common vices. As 
was known in every East Side home where 
a rosary hung, Big Tim had sworn as a 
boy that he would never drink or smoke, 
and he had not once strayed from that 

He lived apart from his wife, Helen, but 
she remained his "beloved wife," and there 
was no divorce, for the church forbade it. 

Big Tim had a smile for everybody. 

During the last years of his life, Big Tim 
slowly lost his mind. He vanished on Au- 
gust 31, 1913. Later his body was found 
in the morgue, where it had lain uniden- 
tified and unclaimed for days. Big Tim, in 
his delirium, had been ^^^^^^^^^ m 
run over by a train in 
the middle of the 
night, in the Westches- 
ter switching yards. 

Jews had been a 
part of Tammany Hall 
since the days of Mor- 
decai Manuel Noah, 


Left, Monk Eastman, often 
said to be the first Jewish 
gangster; right, Tammany 
man Big Tim Sullivan, 
who took young Arnold 
Rothstein under his wing. 

had a face like a jack- 
o'-lantern left out in the sun to rot, and 
he barely knew how to tie a proper bov 
around his neck. 

Rothstein cut a figure. He was presentl 
able. More than that, there was something 
in his head besides pigeon dust. 

He had his eye on the end of the rain] 
bow, rather than trained on the cobble-l 
stones looking out for the next stray cop 
per penny. He could do with a fountai 
pen and a column of figures what others^ 
did with a gun, and in just as short 
time. He had the stuff to know that fear I 
was a sucker's racket: you used it, or it] 
used you. He was a gambler who knewj 
^^^— ^ never to trust in fortune. 

Better than most twice his! 
age in the Tammany i 

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Wigwam, young Arnold Rothstein knew 
the ways of the noble redskin— that Indian 
in a warbonnet who looked to the West 
on every new-struck S5 golden coin. 

Like Big Tim, Arnold neither drank 
nor smoked. And, like Big Tim, he had a 
smile for everybody. It was a rare smile, 
that. Few men had it. But Big Tim knew 
it, and understood it, whenever he saw it. 
And so did Arnold Rothstein. Yes, he was 
a good lad, Arnold was. 

She went by the name of Carolyn Green. 
She was born on May 6, 1888, the 
daughter of a Jewish father and a 
Catholic mother. Her father, Meyer Jerome 
Greenwald, a butcher by trade, had been 
born in Germany. Her mother, Susan Mc- 
Mahon, in Ireland. 

Carrie dreamed of a life in the theater. 
But one could not be a femme fatale named 
Greenwald. Thus little Carrie Greenwald, in 
her aspiring, became little Carolyn Green. 
In the spring of 1906, a few weeks be- 
fore her 18th birthday, she appeared in a 
Shubert brothers musical called 77;e Social 

ter: a thrill-seeking gambler who lived high 
and fast. There is no telling what informa- 
tion and favors were passed between him 
and Rothstein in the years that Swope 
held sway at the World. 

On August 12, 1909, Herbert and Mar- 
garet rode with Arnold and Carolyn to the 
home of the justice of the peace of Sarato- 
ga Springs. As Carolyn later recalled: 

We four then drove to the cottage where 
we had a happy but simple dinner in cele- 
bration of the marriage, and then Arnold 
and I retired to his bedroom, man and wife. 

No sooner were we alone together than 
he said to me: 

"Sweet, I had a bad day today, and I'll 
need your jewelry for a few days." 

When Arnold and Carolyn returned 
to New York in the late summer 
of 1909, they moved into the Anso- 
nia. a luxurious 17-story residential hotel 
at Broadway and West 73rd Street. It was 
a grand structure, the Ansonia. Completed 
in 1904, it had Turkish baths, the world's 

of the brownstone into a casino. CaroM 
claimed that she could hear the click 
the roulette wheel from her bedroom ai 
discern from the pauses between spij 
whether the house was winning or losi: 

But as Big Tim withdrew increasing 
from the reign of his power to that of 1 
inner demons, the human vermin of 
system began to come forth brazenly 
pursue forbidden crumbs in the absent! 
of authority. The lowest of these vermj 
wore suits of blue wool and buttons 

Herman "Beansy" Rosenthal ran a 
bling joint on West 45th Street, around tr 
block from Rothstein's brownstone c I 
no. Rosenthal had opened the joint witl 
a loan of two grand from Big Tim anl 
subsequently made the mistake of takin| 
another S 1,500 from Charles Becker, 
police lieutenant whose job was to oversel 
the suppression of vice. In a year whej 
his salary was under $ 1,700, Lieutenar 
Becker deposited almost $59,000 in hi{ 
personal savings account. 



Whirl. That fall, she had a part in The 
Chorus Lady. This is likely when she met 
Arnold Rothstein. As was later recounted 
in the book Now I'll Tell, written by "Car- 
olyn Rothstein (Mrs. Arnold Rothstein)" 
and published in 1934, "I was eighteen 
and Arnold Rothstein was twenty-four 
when we met for the first time, and felt a 
decided attraction for each other, at an 
after-theatre supper party He sat be- 
side me and devoted himself to me while 
we ate broiled lobster, and every one ex- 
cept Arnold sipped champagne. 

"After the supper he drove me home 
in a hansom cab. And the next night he 
called for me at the theatre and took me 
to supper. After that he was in constant 

Her last, small part was in a musical 
called Havana in the spring of 1909. That 
summer, she traveled north by train with 
Arnold for the racing season at Saratoga. 
Accompanying them were Herbert Bayard 
Swope and his girlfriend, Margaret Powell, 
who later became his wife. 

Swope, one of Arnold's best friends, was 
to achieve great acclaim as a journalist for 
The New York World. He was the most fa- 
mous and celebrated reporter of the early 
20th century, the winner of the first Pulitzer 
Prize for reporting. He was also a charac- 

largest indoor swimming pool, basement 
shops, and several restaurants decorated 
in Louis XIV style. A rooftop farm pro- 
vided tenants with the freshest food. From 
Flo Ziegfeld to Igor Stravinsky, Enrico 
Caruso to Babe Ruth: they all stayed at 
the Ansonia. 

Carolyn later looked back with com- 
plaint. The couple's room "was, in no sense 
of the word, a suite," she informs us. "It 
was in this room at the Ansonia that the 
lonesomeness, which was to be the key- 
note of my married life, began. From the 
moment of our return my husband con- 
trived to leave me by myself." 

In early 1910, Arnold and Carolyn moved 
to a three-story brownstone at 108 West 
46th Street, down the block from where 
Carolyn's parents were living. Carolyn does 
not mention this parental proximity in her 
book. Arnold listed his business in the 
city directory as "real estate." (By 1915 he 
would be listed as "broker," and by 1918 
he would be listed only as the secretary of 
the Carolyn Holding Co., of which Car- 
olyn was listed as the president, with an 
office on Cedar Street.) 

With the benison of Big Tim Sullivan, 
Arnold had been involved in bookmak- 
ing, shylocking, and gambling enterprises 
since at least the turn of the century. Now 
Arnold set about refurbishing the first floor 

Lieutenant Becker wanted 25l 
percent of Rosenthal's take. To protect hisl 
interest, he would post a man named Ja-I 
cob "Bald Jack Rose" Rosenzweig within J 
the club, and Rosenthal was to pay Beck- 
er's share to Rose. 

By this time, in 1912, Big Tim Sullivan] 
was virtually non compos mentis, and Tam-| 
many was in disarray. There was nowhere j 
for Rosenthal to turn for protection. When 
one of Lieutenant Becker's criminal asso- 
ciates was indicted for murder, the officer | 
insisted that every gambling operator con- 
tribute S500 to a "defense fund" to ensure 
his acquittal. This was too much for Beansy 
Rosenthal to take. He spoke to Rothstein. 
who told him to bear up and pay. 

Instead, full of booze and Dutch cour- 
age, Beansy spilled the beans to Rothstein's 
friend Herbert Bayard Swope. His drunken 
words appeared in The New York World of 
July 14, 1912. He was being harassed, Ros- 
enthal said, by the very cop who had im- 
posed himself as a partner. Swope did not 
name Becker, but in the course of Bean- 
sy's telling everything he knew, there was 
little doubt as to the lieutenant's identity. 

When Beansy Rosenthal saw the news- 
paper that Sunday, he turned to Rothstein. 
who offered him S500 to get out of town. 
Rosenthal refused. 

When Lieutenant Becker saw the news- 
paper that Sunday, he turned to his col- 



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awaiting you and your newfound power. 

♦ &Za > 


f OJed 


for ihe road .lhc.ul 



Corrupt cop Charles Becker, 
above, had a piece of a 
gambling den run by Herman 
"Beansy" Rosenthal, right. 
A subtle Rothstein maneuver 
eliminated both men. 

lection man Bald Jack Rose and told 
him what to do. Another of Becker's men, 
William Alberts, better known as Big Jack 
Zelig, was in the Tombs. Rose arranged 
Zelig's release and told him that Beansy 
Rosenthal must not see another sunrise. 
Four men were hired as a killing crew: Ja- 
cob "Whitey Lewis" Seidenschnier, Louis 
"Lefty Louie" Rosenberg, Harry "Gyp the 
Blood" Horowitz, and Francesco 

bile and opened fire. A passerby noted 
the license number of the automobile 
as it sped away. 

Within two weeks, Lieutenant 

Becker, Bald Jack Rose, and the 

four members of the killing crew 

were under arrest. Becker's pleas 

for help from Tammany Hall were 

unanswered. Jack Zelig agreed to 

testify for the state. On October 5, 

1912, the morning before the trial 

was to begin, Zelig was murdered 

while boarding the 13th Street 


Bald Jack Rose also agreed to 
turn state's evidence, and even 
without Zelig's testi- 
mony the four kill- 
ers were convicted 
and were execut- 
ed in the elec- 
tric chair at Sing 
Sing. Becker was 
convicted as well. 
On the morning of 
Jury 30, 1915, he too 
went to the electric 
chair. His last words 
were: "Into thy hands, 
O Lord, I commend 
my spirit." 

If one were of dark 
mind, it might be seen 
that Rothstein had played 
Rosenthal well, using 
him, with Swope's wit- 
ting or unwitting help, to get rid of a 
business competitor— Rosenthal himself— 
and at the same time, and far more im- 
portant, a cop who had been a consid- 
erable source of trouble. In doing so, 
he would have served not only his own 
ends but the journalistic career of his 
dear friend Swope as well. Big Tim Sul- 

Carolyn described Sid Stajer as 
ways closest of any man to my h 
band." It was Stajer who transfer 
a six-year-old chestnut gelding named I 
ile to Rothstein on November 16, 1916 
marked the beginning of Rothstein's ye 
as an owner of Thoroughbred raceho 
Short, stout Sidney Stajer is a mysteri 
figure. Where Rothstein is, Stajer ofte 
not far from there. Twelve years Arno! 
junior, Sidney was a very young man wl 
Rothstein took him under his wing. Il 
not known to us how the 22-year-old 
of immigrant workers had come to po: 
a Thoroughbred colt that had won, pla 
or shown in the majority of its times 
that year. Stajer has been described 
dismissive glibness as a "drug addict' 
a "large-scale drug dealer." No one m 
tions his distinguished service during t 
first World War. 

Arnold Rothstein's finances seem l 
have taken a leap during this period. 


President Woodrow Wilson had si 




the Harrison Act into law on December 1 
1914. The act, which essentially outlawe 
the sale, possession, or use of opium an 
its derivative heroin, went into effect o 
March 1, 1915. A headline six weeks late 
in The New York Times of April 15, 1915 


as would similarly prove to be the c 
with Prohibition five years later, the act i 
practice gave the illegal drug trade nev 
and greater opportunities for profit. 

Arnold Rothstein was the principal fi 
nancier of the international heroin trade 
While investigating a worldwide narcotics 
smuggling ring, Assistant United State; 
Attorney John M. Blake questioned Roth 
stein about his ties to known drug traders: 

"The best explanation Rothstein could 
give us," Blake later told a reporter, "was 
that he loaned money to different people, 


"Dago Frank" Cirofici. 

Beansy, meanwhile, had returned to 
Rothstein and told him that he had de- 
cided to take him up on his $500 offer to 
get out of town. Rothstein told him it was 
too late. 

"You're not worth $500 to anyone any- 
more, Beansy." 

Late on Monday night, Beansy was in 
the bar of the Hotel Metropole. He was 
told that somebody outside wished to talk 
to him. He stepped out under the incan- 
descent bulbs of the Metropole canopy. 
The four killers emerged from an automo- 

livan, who had died during Beck- 
er's trial, surely would have enjoyed the 
coup. Bald Jack Rose, the turncoat, later 
worked for Rothstein. 

There was a song from 1909 called 
"The Ace in the Hole." 

There's con men and there's boosters, 
There's card-men and crap-shooters; 
They congregate around the Metropole. 

They wear flashy ties and collars, 
But where do they get their dollars? 
They all have gc. an ace down in the hole. 

but that he never kept tabs as to the man- 
ner in which they invested such loans as 
long as he was repaid with a profit." 

In 1926, in the biggest narcotics case 
since the passage of the Harrison Act, a 
man named Charles Webber and an ex- 
cop, William Vachuda, were accused of 
importing 1,250 pounds of opium, mor- 
phine, heroin, and cocaine into the coun- 
try. Rothstein acted as the bail guarantor 
for both Webber and Vachuda. 

On July 13, 1928, federal narcotics agents 



vanityfoir con 

MAY 2005 


sted Sidney Stajer along with Abraham 

in, another Rothstein associate, and 

orge Williams at the Hotel Prisament, 

Broadway and 74th Street. Rothstein 

beared at the hotel on the night of the 

est and later posted bail for all three 

n, who on March 11, 1929, four months 

r Arnold Rothstein's demise, were in- 

ted by a federal grand jury on charges 

conspiring to import narcotics. 

, Papers found in Arnold Rothstein's safe 

;r his death led federal narcotics agents 

the biggest bust of the era: an estimated 

million worth of heroin, cocaine, and 

ium— the equivalent today of more than 

1.5 million— discovered in trunks aboard 

; Twentieth Century Limited bound for 

licago on the night of December 7, 1928. 

^e passenger to whom the trunks belonged 

is Joseph Unger, a small man in his 50s 

10 had been one of Rothstein's lackeys. 

| Eleven days later, a ton of dope, valued 

; more than $4 million— a ton might be 

lued at $100 million today— was seized 

Jersey City after arriving from Le Havre 

five crates. The shipment was in the 

ime of one "Joseph Klein," an alias of 

>seph Unger, who was presently being 

;ld in the Tombs. 

Two days later, Unger was hastily brought 

trial at the federal district court on the 

narges from the December 7 seizure. A 

few days before Christmas, to the chagrin 
of the authorities, Unger pleaded guilty. 
There would be no examination of the de- 
fendant. Nothing would be revealed. 

The consensus among old-timers was 
that heroin had been better in New York 
in the days before the Italians took control 
from the Jews. In the 1989 oral history Ad- 
dicts Who Survived, an elderly black man 
called Mel said, "When I first started deal- 
ing I had Chinese and Jewish connections; 
later I had Italian connections. It was a 
beautiful thing when the Chinese and the 
Jews had it. But when the Italians had it— 
bah!— they messed it all up. They started 
thinking people were just a bunch of ani- 
mals—just give them anything." 

Another voice, Jack, said that "the Ital- 
ians infiltrated" when "Arnold Rothstein 
got killed." He remembered that "them 
Italians, they stayed in their place as long 
as he ruled the roost, as long as he was 
there they didn't butt in. But, once he 
was gone, that's when they started to in- 

The start of the Saratoga racing season, 
on August 1, 1918, would bring cele- 
brants to festivities at the grand open- 
ing of the Brook, a stately old mansion on 
Church Street that Arnold Rothstein had 
converted into a casino. Gambling houses 

had thrived in Saratoga Springs since the 
first racetrack opened there, in the summer 
of 1863. but they were out in the country- 
side, near Saratoga Lake. The Brook was 
near the town center, close to the majestic 
Grand Union Hotel. 

The Brook also served as the summer 
destination for a sort of Fresh Air Fund 
that Rothstein operated for a small group 
of inner-city youths who apprenticed them- 
selves to him. They were all immigrant 
lads: the eldest, Francesco Castiglia, was 
from Calabria; Salvatore Lucania, from 
Sicily; and the youngest of them, little 
Maier Suchowljansky, from the Russian 
Pale. In the full blossom of their manhood, 
these young men— Frank Costello, Charles 
Luciano, and Meyer Lansky— would be 
the true inheritors of Rothstein's legacy, 
taking his ways, principles, and vision to 
their fullest end. 

Frank Costello. the most intriguing and 
powerful of the triumvirate, was especially 
drawn to Rothstein. It has been said that 
Arnold Rothstein and Joseph Kennedy 
were the only two men he admired. 

Lansky remembered having met Roth- 
stein at the Bar Mitzvah celebration of the 
son of a mutual acquaintance. "He invit- 
ed me to dinner at the Park Central Ho- 
tel, and we sat talking for six hours. It was 
a big surprise to me. Rothstein told me 


The Original Celebrated 









quite frankly that he had picked me be- 
cause I was ambitious and hungry." 

To list the other young Jews to whom 
Rothstein was a rabbi would be like tran- 
scribing the criminal index of early-20th- 
century Jewish enterprise. Among this gen- 
eration were Louis "Lepke"' Buchalter. Ar- 
thur "'Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer, Philip 
"Dandy Phil'" Kastel, Jacob "Gurrah" 
Shapiro, Irving "Waxey Gordon" Wexler, 
and Abner "Longy" Zwillman. 
The list of mackerel-snappers 
who learned from and served 
him is longer. 

America liked to see herself 
as a melting pot. In this country, 
where the phrase "equal oppor- 
tunity" gained meaning only 
as a late-20th-century legislative 
term, Arnold Rothstein was the 
first true equal-opportunity em- 
ployer. He brought together the 
Christian and the Jew. In a lily-white 
world, he provided the backing for 
Keep Shuffliri, the 1928 black stage re- 
view, and chose as his trusted person- 
al valet and assistant Thomas Farley, 
a gentleman of color from Virginia. 

The horse that Stajer had transferred 
to Rothstein in 1916 marked the 
beginning of Rothstein's years in 
the Thoroughbred-racing owners' circle, 
among wealthy southern gentlemen and 
New York aristocrats such as August Bel- 
mont Jr. 

Anthony Zito wrote about racing for 
The New York World under Rothstein's 
friend Herbert Bayard Swope. As a journa- 

down to 5 to 1, and was 
rubbed out by many 
books in the rush just 
before post time. 

Sidereal had failed 
to win in three pre- 
vious starts. Owned 
and trained by Max 
Hirsch of Texas, 



Top, team photo of the 
Chicago "Black Sox," 
who threw the 1919 World 
Series; above, The New 
York Times trumpets the 
indictments of eight players 

who also worked with 
Rothstein's horses, 
the two-year-old chest- 
nut colt had been 
named by Herbert Bayard Swope. 

The $800,000 that Rothstein won that 
day by betting on Sidereal is equivalent to 
$8.25 million in today's money. 

Zito continued: 

Rothstein planned a betting coup as patient- 
ly as a chief-of-stafJf maps out a campaign for 
a large-scale invasion, but it didn't 

merely the literal translatk 
family name. 

August Belmont Jr.. 
of New York's German-Jewi4 
aristocracy, detested Rothstei F 
who gave the lie to Belmont I- 
grand and stately charade. Bt 
mont asked that Rothstein kee t 
away from Belmont Park tf - 
Rothstein was infuriated. Ir -•■ 
termediaries negotiated a con - % 
promise between the two mer * 

Rothstein was to have his way at the trad W 

on the Sabbath and on holidays. 

Some time later, Belmont encounterec _ 

Rothstein near the paddock on a weekda 

afternoon. "What are you doing here to 

day?" he inquired. 
"It's a holiday." 
"A holiday?" 



list he went by the name of Toney Betts. 
Like Swope, he was a gambler as well as a 
reporter. Zito remembered Rothstein well. 

"In a way he was an investment broker, 
except that most of his dealings lacked the 
wispy air-brush of legality." 

Zito also well recalled a hot summer day 
in July of 1921 that would never be forgotten: 

The scene: Aqueduct Race Track. Tem- 
perature: 94° in the shade. Post Time: 4:28 
p.m. A minute and a fraction later Rothstein 
had won $800,000 on a horse named Side- 
real, more money than anyone in America 
ever before had won on a horse. 

But he was not satisfied. Sidereal did not 
pluck out his obsession. Rothstein had a 
mania to win $ 1,000,000 on one horse. Side- 
real. 30 to 1 at the opening, had been backed 

always follow the blueprint. ... At that time 
the horse spongers were active at Belmont 
Park and Rothstein had an interest in a 
book. He was approached with a proposi- 
tion to take care of a 4 to 5 shot. He paid 
the professional fee and told his book to 
take in all the bets it could on the favorite. 
"But don't be clumsy." he warned him. 
"Don't go from 4 to 5 up to even-money. 
Be gentle and make the first rise in price 9 
to 10. Ease the suckers into the trap." 

A sponge had been inserted in the horse's 
nostril so it couldn't breathe freely and was a 
sure thing to be out of the money. The horse 
won by five lengths, clipping Rothstein for 
S 70,000. Word got around that the sponger 
had the right stable but the wrong stall. 

Roth :in had organized his Thorough- 
breds ii o Redstone Stable in the fall of 
1919. "F J" from roth, "stone" from Stein. 

"Why, yes, you ought to know, Mr. Bel- 
mont. It's Rosh Hashanah." 

It had been in the fall of 1919, while or- 
ganizing Redstone Stable, that Arnold 
Rothstein was supposed to have fixed 
the World Series. Of all the transgressions 
of which he has been accused, this, the 
most celebrated of them, was perhaps the 
only one of which he was innocent. 

Given the way the fixing of the 1919 Se- 
ries unfolded, there was no need for him 
to do a thing, except to profit from the mis- 
takes of others. 

These others, knowing that certain of 
the favored Chicago White Sox ballplayers 
were ripe for fixing, and assuming that 
Rothstein would be keen to finance the 
venture, had set the fix in motion and then 
approached Rothstein about what they 



MAY 2005 

e sure would be his eager involvement, 
ese two gamblers, the retired major- 
gue pitcher Sleepy Bill Burns and the 
(.ired lightweight boxer Billy Maharg, 
d arranged the fix with two White Sox 
ayers, pitcher Eddie Cicotte and first- 
seman Chick Gandil. 
At a hotel room in Cincinnati on the 
[ght before the opening game of the Se- 
s, Abe Attell, who worked for Rothstein, 
d met with Burns and Maharg, along 
ith Cicotte, Gandil, and five other Chica- 
ballplayers. Attell knew his boss well 
ough to believe that he would not over- 
ok an investment as lucrative as this. He 
id assured Burns and Maharg, the fixers, 
lat Rothstein would put up the S 100,000 
lat the players wanted. But the mistake 
id been to proceed without him from the 
Now that the one set of fools had al- 
ady purchased the other set of fools- 
ranted, they had been bought on the in- 
allment plan, the old hire-purchase plan 
[y which Arnold's grandfather had gotten 
lis first Singer sewing machine, a few dol- 
fars down, but bought nonetheless— Roth- 
tein could partake of the fix without pitch- 
ng in a dime. Burns and Maharg had 
)lown the chance to have his backing the 
noment that Attell revealed to Rothstein 
hat everything was in place, that all they 

needed now was his backing. Rothstein sent 
word that he did not believe that such a 
fix was possible, then he acted on what 
they had given him. 

The White Sox lost to the Cincinnati 
Reds in eight games (out of a possible nine 
in those days). Rumors that the Series had 
been fixed were in the air, as well as Roth- 
stein's name, but it was not until September 
1920 that grand-jury hearings in Chicago 
led to open scandal. The ballplayers testified 
that none of them had been paid in full. 

Rothstein's reputation as the fixer of the 
Series grew with the passing of years. In 
Vie Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald intro- 
duced "a small flat-nosed Jew" named 
Meyer Wolfsheim, described as "the man 
who fixed the World's Series back in 1919." 

Wolfsheim is a gross caricature, a man 
with cuff links made of human molars in 
whose mouth Fitzgerald puts words such 
as "business gonnegtion." Fitzgerald would 
later claim that he had drawn on "my own 
meeting with Arnold Rothstein" to lend 
form to his fiction. 

Edith Wharton had made her own Jew 
from schoolyard mud: Simon Rosedale, a 
nouveau riche who seeks to enter society, 
in her 1905 novel, Vie House of Mirth. On 
the publication of The Great Gatsby, in 
1925, she wrote to Fitzgerald, congratulat- 
ing him for having made "the perfect Jew." 

A "bucket shop" was a brokerage house 
that dealt in small, even single-share 
stock orders, and charged a slight 
premium over the listed stock prices. For 
would-be investors of modest means, who 
could not afford to place orders of the 
size handled by the big brokerage firms, 
bucket shops were the only game in town. 
But most bucket shops played on the ig- 
norance of would-be investors. Money was 
taken but orders were not executed. For- 
tunes were made in bucket shops, and the 
tide of suckers was endless. 

It was the great Fuller-McGee scandal 
that brought an end to the golden era of the 
bucket shops. Edward Fuller and William 
McGee operated a bucket shop under the 
name of E. M. Fuller & Co. It had failed 
three times on the Consolidated Stock Ex- 
change. (The Consolidated was a disrep- 
utable 19th-century excrescence of the New 
York Stock Exchange, an offshoot shut 
down by the New York State Attorney Gen- 
eral's Office in 1925.) They were tried three 
times but never convicted. 

In the spring of 1923, William Randolph 
Hearst assigned his New York American 
reporter Nat Ferber to discover "who was 
protecting the bucket-shops." Ferber received 
permission from the New York County dis- 
trict attorney to examine records that were 
under federal guard at Fuller and McGee's 


The OriSirxal Celebrated 









vacated office. He came upon a sheaf of 
canceled checks. Some of them were made 
out to Arnold Rothstein. 

Ferber also discovered that William J. 
Fallon, Fuller and McGee's lawyer, had 
brought about a hung jury in their third 
trial by bribing one of the jurors, a Charles 
W. Rendigs. to hold out for acquittal. Bill 
Fallon was also one of Rothstein's lawyers. 

Fuller and McGee. who bucketed the 
money of others, lost most of it gambling. 
Arnold Rothstein. who cared more for their 
money than he did for them, was the one 
who took it. In the 12-month period from 
November 10. 1920, to November 9, 1921, 
E. M. Fuller & Co. wrote checks to Roth- 
stein amounting to more than S 187,000. 

Rothstein was called as a witness in 
Fuller and McGee's bankruptcy trial. In 
the hearing room, he was asked if there 
had been conversation between him and 
Bill Fallon regarding difficulties that Ful- 
ler and McGee were having. 

"I don't recall going to Fallon at any 

The interrogator tried to press more 

"As a matter of fact, you were repre- 
sented at the hearing by William J. Fallon 
and Kelly?" 

"I have no attorney." 
'Don't you know the White Sox play- 
ers made the charge they'd been double- 
crossed, and didn't get the money after 
they had thrown the first game?" 

"I never promised them any money. I 
don't even talk to ball players." 

The interrogator tried another tack. 

"'Do you know Charles W Rendigs? - " 

"I believe I do." 

"He's the man indicted in the Fuller 
case in connection with bribery. Didn't you 
have a conversation with Rendigs while he 
was a juror in the Fuller trial?" 

"Oh. behave. I refuse to answer." 

There were more questions about Ren- 
digs, the juror-for-hire. Rothstein became 
more fed up. 

"The next thing," he said, "you'll be 

of money that passed through these cc 
porations, and many others that Rothst 
held, are unknowable. As far as the reco 
went, he was an unseen ghost at the he 
of a spectral corporate empire. As a 
not even the directors of these corpc 
tions knew the true business of these 

On April 22, 1924, the government 
the United States complained that Arno{ 
Rothstein had paid only S35.15 in incor 
tax for the year 1921. 

It must have been those 15 pennies. 

What do you believe Arnold RothsteL 
would have made of Damon Ru | 
yon. the reformed drunk from Ma 
hattan. Kansas, who worked for Hearst] 
Xew York American? 

The writings of Damon Runyon ail 
central to the romance of Jazz Age Ne| 
York. His short stories about Manhattan! 
New York, not Kansas— are above all eij 
tertainments. The articles that he wrote 
deadline about Rothstein for the Americc. 



time to talk over the Fuller case." 

"Your answer is that you don't remem- 

"My answer is that I don't care to dis- 
cuss it." 

"On what ground?" 

"On the ground that it would incrimi- 
nate or degrade me, whatever that means." 

He was asked if he could offer any in- 
formation regarding several hundred thou- 
sand dollars that he was alleged to have 
won in bets from Fuller. 

"The law," he said, "makes betting a 

Fuller had said that he lost more than 
S22,000 to Rothstein betting on the 1919 
World Series, and a lawyer for Fuller and 
McGee's creditors had successfully argued 
that Rothstein would be liable to the credi- 
tors for that amount if it could be shown 
that he had been a party to the fixing of 
the Series. 

"Do you know a man in Boston named 
William J. Kelly?" he was asked. 

"What's that got to do with this case?" 

"He's an attorney, isn't he?" 

"I know him as something different. I 
think he's a blackmailer to tell you the facts." 

"Did you engage W. J. Kelly to repre- 
sent you in the Grand Jury proceedings 
over the World Series of 1919?" 

"You ought to be ashamed to ask me 

j VANITY FAIR j www vanityfoir com 

blaming the Japanese earthquake 
on me. There must be something the mat- 
ter with those cough drops you're eating." 
Three weeks later, October 29, 1923: 
"WTien you win a bet, it's a matter of 
income, isn't it?" 

"I don't know. I'm not up on the law." 
"Well, if you won a bet would you call 
it income or outgo?" 
"I'd call it lucky." 

There was so much paperwork, and 
so much of it senseless, for to Arnold 
Rothstein paperwork was by nature 
subterfuge. In 1923 he said that he could 
not recall the names of the officers of A. L. 
Libman. Inc.. of which he was the presi- 
dent, unstated and unseen. 

His name in fact rarely appeared on le- 
gal documents. He owned many corpora- 
tions, yet his name did not appear on the 
papers of incorporation. Before changes to 
the corporate tax laws in 1976, each cor- 
poration held by an individual party or 
parties was taxed separately rather than 
as part of a commonly held group. This 
meant that the lowest possible corporate 
tax rate could be achieved and maintained 
through the creation of new corporations 
as needed, so that no single corporation's 
net taxable income ever exceeded the limit 
for the lowest tax-rate bracket. 

The sources, destinations, and amounts 

became a short story called "The Brai 
Goes Home," which was included in h 
1931 collection Guys and Dolls. ThrouL 
Runyon. Arnold Rothstein became Nath. 
Detroit. Guys and Dolls made Runyon 
wealthy man during what most peop 
knew as the Depression. However, he we 
no longer around for what would ha\ 
been his big payday, when Guys and Dol 
premiered as a Broadway musical in tr 
fall of 1950. Played by Sam Levene, Natha 
Detroit now : brought laughter through stag, 
buffoonery and song. 

But Arnold Rothstein was not one fo 
the theater. His wife said that he had a 
most never attended stage plays or show^ 
and believed that he had never seen 
moving picture. 

So what might he have thought of Guy 
and Dolls, of the buffo song and dance c 
Nathan Detroit, formerly Arnold Rotr 
stein. as in the headline of the New Yon 
American of November 6, 1929: who sho 


Like the Harrison Act. the Volstead Aci 
which ushered in Prohibition on Jam 
ary 16. 1920, presented the opportx 
nity for new and immense fortunes to b 
made. From this time until the end of hi 
life. Rothstein was the investment banke 
for the country's continued on page u 

, Y 2 J 


MIMED FROM PAGE 188 biggeSt t>OOt- 

Ijging operations. Irving "Waxey Goi- 
m" Wexler, who controlled almost all 
niggling activities a'long the New York 
hd New Jersey shoreline, worked for 

nhstein. He made some $2 million a 

ar from Prohibition. There is no telling 
hat Rothstein made. 

He and his wife now lived apart: Ar- 
)ld at 20 West 72nd Street, between 
entral Park West and Columbus Avenue, 

the 15-story Fairfield Hotel, which he 
wned; she directly across town at the 
rand apartment overlooking Central Park 

912 Fifth Avenue, the last place where 
ley had lived together. 

By Carolyn Rothstein's own account, 

haps one of the vamps introduced him 
to Bobbie, who was an aspiring showgirl. 
Perhaps Bobbie brought her own sweet 
self around. They were almost certainly 
together by 1913, when she was 22 or 23 
and he was 31. And they stayed together. 
If there was love in his life, Bobbie Win- 
throp was it. 

Bobbie seems to have been born in 
New York in 1890. She was a good-time 
blonde. She was probably everything that 
Carolyn was not. 

She seems to have died from booze and 
pneumonia. Her body was found by Roth- 
stein at her place, at Fifth Avenue and 
56th Street, on September 5, 1927. She was 

in August, less than three weeks before the 
death of Bobbie Winthrop. 

In the New Year, Inez Norton was re- 
siding at Rothstein's Fairfield Hotel. He 
called her son, 10-year-old Claude, the 
Sweet Potato Kid. 

During this time, Rothstein's attorneys, 
under Maurice Cantor, were drafting his 
will according to his instructions. The Last 
Will and Testament of Arnold Rothstein, 
signed on March 1, 1928, was a document 
of seven pages. 

It bequeathed $50,000 each to his 
brothers, Edgar and Jack, and $ 15,000 to 
his attendant, Thomas Farley. After these 
bequests, the rest 

a HOUSE DICK F0UHD HIM moving slowly on a staircase. 

he marriage had ended almost the mo- 
nent it began. She tells of his entreaties to 
ler not to leave him. She does not tell us 
hat she did leave him for long periods, as 
he desired, at his expense. 

Arnold Rothstein had no yearning to 
eave Manhattan. His home was Broad- 
vay. Heroin got shipped, he didn't. 

But his wife had become a devotee of 
uxury liners and fine European hotels and 
chateaux. State Department records show 
;hat she went to Europe almost annual- 
ly beginning in the summer of 1914, five 
v'ears into the marriage, when she sailed to 
England aboard the Aquitania. A passport 
photograph from 1919 shows her smiling 
naughtily, her dark hair bobbed, strings of 
pearls around her neck. Though she had 
10 work, she usually stated her occupation 
is "actress." 

Her book tells of Arnold's infidelities, 
rhere is no mention of the young mer- 
:hant Robert Behar, of London, or of her 
return to London to be with him after her 
husband's death. They were married there 
3n June 3, 1929. Behar was 28 years old. 
Carolyn was 41, but she gave her age as 36. 

She did not return to New York until 
lanuary 4, 1933. She returned alone, call- 
ing herself Carolyn Rothstein Behar. 

Carolyn renewed the copyright of her 
book in 1962, when she was in her 74th 
/ear. It is then that she vanishes. 

Nobody knows how he met Bobbie 
Winthrop. Some of the biggest of the 
Broadway vamps would feed iheir 
sugar daddies and suitors to him. He lav- 
ished gifts and favors on the girls, and they 
led their fat-cat suckers to his lair. Per- 

37. On her death certificate, her occupa- 
tion is stated as "writer." What did she 
write? And where did it go? 

When Bobbie Winthrop died, he 
bought a new one. Her name was 
Inez Norton. It is likely she was 
born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1901 or 

One account has her as a Baptist 
Sunday-school teacher as a girl. She 
was said to have fallen in love with 
army captain Claude Norton when 
she was 15 years old, and run off 
and married him. A son, Claude 
Norton Jr., was 
born about 1918. 
The marriage ap- 
parently ended in 
divorce, and she 
took the child. 

It was probably 
in September 1927, 
the month of Bob- 
bie Winthrop's 
death, that Inez met Arnold Roth- 
stein at Lindy's, where he reg- 
ularly held court in his private 
booth. The telephones at Lin- 
dy's, Circle 3317 and Circle 
10490, belonged as much to 
Rothstein as they did to Lin- 
dy's. Many believed that he 
had a piece of the joint. 

Beautiful, blonde Inez 
is supposed to have found 
work that season as a cho- 
rus girl in the latest edition 
of the Ziegfeld Follies, 
which had opened at the 
New Amsterdam Theatre 

of his estate was to be equally divided. 

Half was to be placed in an investment 
trust, with its net income to be paid to 
"Caroline Rothstein who is now my wife, 
during her life." 

The remaining half of the estate, allot- 
ted as follows, was also to be placed in 
trust. The net income from $75,000 of 
that trust was to be paid to Sidney Stajer 
for a period of 10 years. 

Eighty percent of the net income from 
the remaining amount was to be di- 

OF 1930 

Handbill for the play 
Room 349, inspired by 
Rothstein's murder and 
starring his last mistress. 
It closed after 15 

J^ har Keatly H 

a PPened 




^ Play 
Giv es You 
Loiv De 






£ ROY 





*o w 



A s yw 

* 'AT 

■*Ut St. 
'* 7th 


A»e n « 

VI AY 2 5 


vided equally between his brothers, Edgar 
and Jack. 

The other 20 percent of the net income 
from the remaining amount was to be di- 
vided equally between his business associ- 
ates Samuel Brown and William Wellman. 

Some months later, a new will was 
drafted. There was one significant change: 
after the bequests to Edgar Rothstein, 
Jack Rothstein, and Thomas Farley, a third, 
rather than half, of the remaining estate 
was to be placed in trust to provide in- 

with a petition to invalidate the will six 
days after the death of his son. Three days 
later, Carolyn signed an affidavit support- 
ing the appointment of Abraham Roth- 
stein as the temporary administrator of the 
estate and also noting that Inez Norton 
was "in no wise related to the decedent" 
and thus had "no claim to decedent's 

Court actions and legal problems would 
go on for years and in the end bring Inez 
nothing. She did appear in a 1930 stage 
play based upon the murder of Arnold 

mooncalf son. It is then that Inez Nort 
vanishes, as does the Sweet Potato Kid. 

After the autopsy, Rothstein's body v 
claimed by his brother Jack. Up 
arrival at the Riverside Memor 
Chapel, on West 76th Street at Amst 
dam Avenue, the body was placed ir 
bronze-finished mahogany casket, whi 
was said to have cost 5 grand, the equr 
lent of about 54 grand in today's devalu 

Abraham Rothstein arranged for the 
neral services to be conducted, on t 



come for his wife. The one-sixth 
that remained of this half of his estate was 
to be placed in trust to provide income for 
a period of 10 years to Inez Norton. 

This was the will to which Rothstein's 
hand would be placed as he lay dying, the 
so-called deathbed will, which bears a frail 
X rather than a signature. 

Carolyn Rothstein. whose bequest had 
been reduced by one-sixth, and those mem- 
bers of the Rothstein family who were not 
named in the will, perceived a conspiracy 
against them by Rothstein's ^^^^^_ 
lawyer and mistress. Abe 
the Just rushed to court 


Below, Rothstein's casket 

on its wary to his final 

resting-place, in Queens; 

bottom, the Daily News 

front-pages his shooting. 

Rothstein. Room 349 received much at- 
tention owing to its subject, but none of 
the attention was good. It closed after 15 
performances on Broadway. Inez sought 
to portray herself in the 1934 Fox motion- 
picture version of Now I'll Tell (released a 
mere three weeks after the publication 
of Carolyn Rothstein's book). The role 
went to Alice Faye, but Inez was given a 
small part with four lines in a scene set at 

^^^^^_ In September 1935, Inez 
was to marry Thomas C. 
Neal Jr., of Chicago. He was 
24. Her age was given as 
32. Young Neal was a college 
man. Better yet, he was the 
only son of a retired Chica- 
go bank president. But the 
old man came to New York on 
an aeroplane and called a halt to 
their plans. I hope, for her sake, 
that the banker had to buy her 
off to protect his smitten 

morning of November 7, by Rabbi II 
Leo Jung of the Jewish Center, one of t| 
most revered and distinguished rabbis [ 
the day. 

On January 20, 1930, the Riversil 
Memorial Chapel petitioned the surj 
gate's court to collect $5,399 in funeral 

The body was laid to rest in Uni 
Field Cemetery, in Ridgewood, Quee : 
When I lingered there among the Roj 
stein gravestones, I saw that most b<J 
words of Hebrew and the English w<[ 
"beloved"— beloved son, beloved h 


ter, and so on. But there is no Hebil 
carved into the rock of Arnold Rothste 
grave, nor is he "beloved." He is simj 
dead, and all it says is may his soul ri 


When, following Jewish custom. I wv. 
to place a stone atop the granite of 
grave, I saw that there were two aire; 
there. I sometimes wonder, until this w 
day, who put them there. I will ne\| 
know. Something as plain and as si 
pie as that, two stones in the cen| 
tery breeze atop a grave, and it is 
yond knowing. 

Those stones speak more to me thl 
the lesser mystery of Arnold Rol 
stein's murder. Not lesser in that I 
mystery of that murder can be solved 
cannot, and it never will be. Lesser in t| 
the mystery of the stones, set in silent 
cred breeze, is more illimitable and vas;| 
beckoning by far. One stone for gotl 
perhaps, and then a stone for evil— al 
what of the third, which I myself phi 
there beside them, not really know 

On Sunday night, November 4. 19 I 

MAY 2 

ijlrnold Rothstein went from his West 57th 

reet office to Lindy's. There was a call 

iere, inviting him to a card game in the 

(horn of George "Hump" McManus, a 

: fambling friend, at the Park Central Ho- 
ld, on West 56th Street. Rothstein sent his 

j^iauffeur, Eugene Reimer, to fetch him 

r ^iore money. 

Rothstein went to Room 349 of the 
;iark Central Hotel. He is said to have 

k layed cards for high stakes, tens of thou- 
inds of dollars, for a while with Mc- 

. lanus and other men. He was not there 

>r long. At about 10 minutes to 11 that 

ight, a house dick found him moving 

lowly on a staircase. "I've been shot," 

othstein said. 

That's all he would say. He never said 

►ho had shot him, or when, where, or 

hy. He did not even say if he knew 

he answers to any of these things. The 

eadline on the front page of The New 

York Times the next morning said: roth- 


<efuses to talk. More than 75 years lat- 

r, there is little more to be added to those 

Rothstein was dead the following morn- 

ng, Election Day, November 6, 1928. 
t^Vhatever had happened— and no one 
jtppears to have known exactly what did 
i lappen, and no one ever would— it shook 

the secret system of the city to its bones. 

The source of the waves that shook 
that system remained unknown. The mur- 
der was not properly investigated. It was 
not even properly covered up. Evidence 
was recklessly hidden, discarded, compro- 
mised—not so much in conspiracy as in 
anxiety. Rothstein's body had not even 
been fingerprinted— the most routine part 
of an autopsy— so that there were no fin- 
gerprints to compare with any that had 
been left. It was as if no one, lawman or 
criminal, wanted to be close to this mur- 
der in any way. There was a disorganized, 
unconvincing trial of McManus and other 
shambles of legal diversionary formalities. 
Nothing came of them but more confu- 
sion, more disquiet. 

There was fear throughout Tammany 
Hall. The police commissioner, Joseph A. 
Warren, Mayor Walker's former law part- 
ner, was replaced by the benign figure of 
Grover Whalen, under whom, in 1930, 
there was published the pretense of a for- 
mal investigative report, In the Matter of 
the Charges Preferred Against Various Mem- 
bers of the Police Department in Connec- 
tion with the Shooting of Arnold Rothstein, 
which was little more than a chump-chop 
stew of subterfuge, expedience, whitewash, 
and unknowing. 

The impact of Arnold Rothstein's death, 

and the mystery, fear, and disquiet sur- 
rounding it, led to Governor Franklin D. 
Roosevelt's commission in 1931 of the 
jurist Samuel Seabury to fully investigate 
the government of the city of New York. 
As Herbert Mitgang recalls in Once upon 
a Time in New York, Mayor Jimmy Walk- 
er, sharply dressed in blue, observed be- 
fore he took the stand, "There are three 
things a man must do alone. Be born, die, 
and testify." 

The investigation led to Mayor Walker's 
resignation, on September 1, 1932. The for- 
mer mayor departed for Paris, a city that 
was still a city. New York's Jazz Age was 
over. It had ended when Rothstein took 
that bullet in the gut. All since then had 
been but reverberation. 

That bullet: from nowhere, like those 
stones in the breeze atop the grave. 

From the moment Rothstein was shot 
until today, the mystery has grown. Specu- 
lation has roamed wildly in a desire to 
identify not only the hand that pulled the 
trigger but also the interplay of hidden 
forces that controlled the hand. 

Speculation has led nowhere, nor will it 
lead anywhere hence. The source of the 
bullet is like the source of the stones. The 
bullet from nowhere, the theody in the 
gloam, the silent stones: a true mystery and 
its answer are one. □ 

t 7 hi- Dream Begin. 
1 Your Darker Side ( 

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MAN: What got him interested in acting? 
"Dressing up and showing off . . . attention 
seeking, mainly, I think. It's a great way to 
get rid of your insecurities. And find plenty 
of new ones." TOP LAYER: After more than 
18 film roles— he played Paul Newman's son 
in Road to Perdition and Gwyneth Paltrow's 
husband in Sylvia— he's finally breaking 
through as a bona fide leading man in 
Matthew Vaughn's hip gangster pic Layer 
Cake. GOOD THINGS COME ... : "I'd been 
taking it very slowly, trying to be as picky 
as I possibly could, because I'm a snob, 
and I don't like doing shit." -krista smith 

2 5 





[Abraham Lincoln] 



[Characters in 
Jerry Bruckheimer movies] 


ComrriorL Qhmmd& 

The world as a series of sets and subsets 



who are 

Bill Pullman 





[Fabian Basabq 
3i£. 9 


[Anthony LaPaglia] 
3i%,. 10 

[Airport spas] 
3i%,. 11 

3i%, . 12 

What They \Afere Thinking 

— By Brian Frazer — 

194 | VANITY F A I R 



Continued on page 




H5"« AL 


CHIT ON DEMAND. ANYTIME. To subscribe: call 1-800 -SHOWTIME 















The Missing Years 


As excavated by David Kamp, 
staff archivist 

ILAIKE: So you're 
directing pictures now, Mike. 
MIKE: Yes, Elaine. I've moved 
on from the ignoble limitations of 
stagecraft. I've completed a film 
with Elizabeth Taylor and 
Richard Burton. 

ELAINE: You finished Cleopatra? 
It's about time someone did! 
MIKE: No, no, no, Elaine, it's 
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 
Adapted from Albee. 
ELAINE: Albee darned. 
MIKE: Hahahal 
ELAINE: Mahaha! 
MIKE: Yes, I find that, by 
comparison, performing onstage 
with you was one-dimensional. 
ELAINE: Agreed-Liz Taylor 
has at least two more 
dimensions than I do. 
MIKE: Hahaha! 
ELAINE: Hahahal You know, 
Mike, I didn't think you had it in 
you to direct a picture. 
MIKE: That's funny, my 

analyst said the same thing, 
relating it to my doubts 
about the size of my . . . 
[Talcing nofe of tape 
recorder.] Good God! 
What am I saying? This will 
be in Vanity Fair\ Oh, God, 
I, uh . . . Elaine, let's put the 
act back together! 
ELAINE: Sorry. Can't. 
I've got this movie of my 
own I want to direct. See, 
Warren Beatty plays this 
lounge singer in the 
Arabian Desert— 
MIKE: B-but, that could 
become our new 
routine!!! [Improvising a 
song.] You betta win this 
Bedouin's heart, 
bay-beee . . . 
ELAINE: Hahaha! 
MIKE: Hahaha! 

—From "Together Again! 
Elaine May Interviews 
Mike Nichols," May 1966. 

What They )i\fere Thinking 

Continued from page 194 


Buy $6,000 

shower curtain. 

Buy $3,000 shower 

curtain and $3,000 

bar of soap. 

Buy $2,000 shower 

curtain and $4,000 


Order new checks 

with sunsets. 

J 1 / 



APRIL 9, 2005 

Go to Boston to 


see The Gates. 

Stick chest out for Dad s 

parole officer. 

Stop TiVo-ing Fez's stuff. 

Find out if Tom Hanks 

is married. 

Remember to drink 

on empty stomach 
i tonight. 




MAY 201 

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The plan: a lighthearted photo shoot with the cast of America's Sunday-night sensation. 
The result: a five-star drama, complete with profanity, tears, and tantrums. 
Exploring the Desperate Housewives dynamic, NED ZEMAN trailer-hops among 
"the Ladies'' — Marcia ( Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, 

and Nicollette Sheridan— - to the show's creator, Marc Cherry, and checks out 
everything from a Hatche, m James Denton to the "issues" on the set 


From left, Ricardo Chavira and 

Eva Longoria as Carlos 

and Gabrielle Solis, and Jesse 

Metcalfe as her lawn boy. 

"We're judged by public 

opinion," Longoria says. "Do 

you like me? Please like me. . . . 

That you can't control." 

n retrospect, we should have seen it com- 
ing—what with the on-set rumblings about 
"frayed nerves" and "difficulty" among 
"the Ladies," and the crew's jokes about 
one Lady's "issues." In retrospect, it was all 
so obvious, so inevitable. The warning signs 
were everywhere. 

We should have known it that night on 
the Universal back lot. where Marc Cherry. 
42, the creator and mastermind of Desper- 
ate Housewives, was fretting, even though 
he stood at the peak of his personal Ho- 
ratio Alger story arc: two Golden Globes, 
Nielsen's No. 4 spot, riches beyond riches. 
(The Ladies, who initially earned less than 
S80,000 per episode, are now thinking in 
terms of S250,000.) 

"I hope everything works out with this." 
Cherry said, "the [ Vanity Fair] photo shoot 
this weekend. I think it's a problem on our 
end. Coordinating all the ..." His voice 
trailed off. "Yeah," he said softly, as if to 
himself. "I'm sure it'll be fine." 

He worries, he worries. He has that look 
about him: rheumy-eyed, owlish, outfit- 
ted in typical TV-guy fashion— drawstring 
sweatpants, white sneakers, baggy T-shirt 
hanging out from under a Windbreaker em- 
blazoned with a single word: grumpy. 

We might have suspected things were 
amiss even earlier, as runaway tabloid scur- 
rilousness— eating disorders! plastic surgery! 
lesbianism!— had bedeviled the show's five 
stars: Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity 
Huffman, Eva Longoria, and Nicollette 
Sheridan, (Note to Publicists: Credits are 
listed in alphabetical order, so put down 
those cell phones.) 

We should have known it that night at 
the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 
during "An Evening with Desperate House- 
wives," a featherlight affair but for the sud- 
den unburdening of one of the Ladies, who 
allowed that the white-hot spotlight had 
taken its toll. "I have a lot of anger about 
that," she said amid tight smiles. "But my 
publicist is going to tell me to shut up." 

We absolutely, positively should have 
sensed danger when there turned out to be 
a list of mandatory stipulations from ABC. 
That each of the Ladies would have her 
own hair-makeup-stylist Glam Team was. 

by Hollywood standards, nothing special. 
They were, after all, the biggest stars on TV's 
second-biggest dramatic series— bigger than 
ER, bigger than all but one CSI, bigger 
than Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

And yet. The mandatory stipulations sin- 
gled out one Lady in particular, instructing 
the magazine that, in any and all group shots, 
she was definitely not to" be in the center. 

But still. A soap opera within a soap op- 
era that satirizes soap operas? Too pat, too 
meta-. Power plays and pariahs? Profanity- 
laced tantrums and sobbing divas? No. No 

Then again, that was before the photo 

"" eri Hatcher sits on a wooden 
bench outside her fictive house, 
on Wisteria Lane, Desperate 
Housewives' fictive suburban lo- 
cale. "What are soap operas?" 
Hatcher asks rhetorically. "I'm 
not really sure what the term 
means. What's the definition? They're sto- 
ries about relationships, people ..." 

She's politely interrupted by her most 
recognizable male co-star, James Denton. 
42, who plays Mike Delfino, the bohunky 
plumber possessed of big secrets and great 
hair. In the series, as in life, he's George to 
Hatcher's Gracie character, Susan Mayer, 
a pratfalhng cuckold-with-a-heart-of-gold. 

"That's a great question." Denton says. 
"For me, it's just the connotation. When you 
hear 'soap opera,' usually it's not positive." 

Hatcher nods. "You think bad lighting, 
bad writing, bad acting ..." 

"... melodramatic, predictable, serial. 
I don't think it's usually a compliment when 
people say it's a 'nighttime soap.'" 

"And they're not funny." 

"It's bothered me from the very begin- 

"From the very beginning," Hatcher says, 
taunting playfully. "T think, on a scale of 
things to be bothered by. that's probably not 
high on my list." 

"I don't lose sleep over it." Denton says. 

"I'm not bothered by much these days," 
Hatcher continues. "How about that?" 

Girlish and playful, with big puppy eyes, 
Hatcher is the show's star among stars, a 
position affirmed by her recent best-actress 
awards (for TV comedy) from the Screen 
Actors Guild and the Golden Globes. The 
latter proved especially gratifying for Hatch- 
er, who accepted the award with a teary, 
Sally Field-esque acknowledgment that be- 
fore Desperate Housewives came along, "I 
couldn't have been a bigger has-been." 

Until last fall. Hatcher was best known 
for her mid-90s TV series. Lois & Clark: 
Tfie New Advertures of Superman, in which 

she starred with Dean Cain: for 
Paris Carver, a Bond Girl in 1997 's| 
row Never Dies; for a string of Radic 
TV commercials; and for a Seinfeld i 
in which she said of her breasts, 
real, and they're spectacular." Bej 
that, she played a soap-opera star in 
dish, the 1991 satire about a soap| 
within a soap opera. 

And now here she sits— 40, dii 
(from actor Jon Tenney), a single mo I 
a daughter (Emerson, 7)— at the ce| 
the television universe. Literally. The | 
is in the middle of her TV yard, w. 
surrounded by crew members, ar| 
house stands among the other Ladies 
es, one to the left, two to the righl 
straight across Wisteria Lane. Whe 
house opposite isn't being filmed— it'; 
Van De Kamp's house— it doubles . 
set's bathroom. 

"The most fascinating thing hapi 
to me [in Las Vegas] this weekend." I 
er recalls. "I went to this cool even 
they do every year at the Bellagio 
It's called 'Keep Memory Alive." anc 
raise millions and millions of dolh 
one night for Alzheimer's. I went las 
and auctioned off a lunch with me. Al 
went for 520,000, which was a lot. j 
this year I went, and I was auctionej 
for S 125.000." 

"Little different." Denton interj 
"That's pretty black-and-white right th 

"Well. I'm not putting it in terms o 
value." Hatcher replies, blanching a bit. 
certainly those people's generosity. But 
way. What happened in Vegas was tl 
felt the shift from where fans would c 
and be like. 'Can I take a picture?' or ' 
I have your autograph?' What's happe 
to me now is almost spiritual. People 
coming up to me. mostly women, and 
didn't want my autograph, didn't want 
picture. They wanted to sit with me and 
me how I've inspired them, how I've g 
new hope to women over 40. 

"They told me stories about their 
dren, saying, 'This happened to me o 
when I was with my child." and da-da- 
And that has really touched me. An 
have kind of just shifted into this pi. 
of T have to do something positive w 
it.' Not about me. But I understand t 
there's an opportunity to do something I 
ger, you know? Something to really g 

Minutes later, Hatcher and Denton i 
gin filming a fantasy sequence in which 
walks up to her front door and knoc 
For technical reasons, the walk requires s 
eral takes; between each, Denton smool 
his hair in the window and regales the cr 
with guy sports talk. The scene ends w 



MAY 20 

"I CO 






v ; > 

• > 




^^^^Micollettc Sheridan, who pla>s 

MJk fedie Brin - and ^ l;uk N,oses - 


^M who plays Paul Young. Hie 


suburban mother of the show's 


creator. Mare Cherry, once told 

him. "1 «as miserable sometimes." 

a revelation that helped him 

channel the characters. 




Felicity Huffman, who plays 
Lvnette Scavo, gets a pedicure, 
while Doug Savant, as her 
husband, looks on. Opposite, Ten 
Hatcher, as Susan Mayer, with 
James Denton, as the plumber. 







a grapple-and-kiss so long and deep that 
Denton's stubble chafes Hatcher's chin. At 
"Cut," Hatcher throws her arms in the air 
and shouts offstage, "What I said about 
this not being a soap— check that!" 

"The guys are smart enough to know 
what the show is about," Denton continues. 
"It's not called Desperate Plumbers. We're 
just happy to be here. I've never heard any 
of the guys be ungrateful. 

"The women, I can't speak for," he says 
significantly. He turns to Hatcher. "Can you?" 
Hatcher demurs. He continues," I think there 
is some, uh . . . " 

"Do you think I'm anything but grate- 
ful?" Hatcher interjects, feigning outrage. 

"Not you" Denton replies. "Not you 
at all." 

She smiles. "Then you can speak for me." 

"I can speak for Teri. I've never heard 
Teri be anything but grateful." 

"There you go." 

"That's for sure, and I can promise you. 
But I don't know ab . . . " 

Hatcher's smile vanishes, replaced by a 
wince. Her eyes narrow: "I'm just doing my 
thing—you know what I mean? So I don't 
know [about the others]. I just show up on 
time, do my work, do my part, get the show 
promoted, help people, sign autographs." 

~ he next afternoon, Hatcher has 
given way on the set to Felicity 
Huffman, who plays Lynette Sca- 
vo, the harried, Ritalin-popping 
soccer mom; Marcia Cross, who 
plays Bree Van De Kamp, and 
Steven Culp, who plays Bree's 
henpecked spouse; and Eva Longoria, 
who plays Gabrielle Solis, a Latina sexpot, 
who bangs her teenage lawn boy. (Adden- 
dum to Note to Publicists: The names are 
listed in order of appearance, so put down 
those pellet guns.) 

Of all the Ladies, Huffman seems to 
look most like her character, a typical 42- 
year-old American mother and wife. In 
fact, she is a 42-year-old mother and wife, 
but not a typical one. She's married to a 
celebrated actor, William H. Macy (Fargo, 
Boogie Nights, Seabiscuii), and arrived at 
Desperate Housewives with the most "chops," 
having frequently worked with playwright 
David Marnet, with v\ i u m Macy co-founded 
the famed Atlantic ipany, in 

New York. 

"It's not my favorite e Huffman 

says, referring to the w hole so 
tion. "I don't think it's acci.i\ a 

soap, I'd say, 'Oh, yeah, abscii:! 
I know it has soap elements. ' do. 
know how to classify it. I guess, if 1 hi 
I would call it a black comedy." 

She adds. "I think it's a guilty pleasure 

because it's delicious and easy to watch. 
And I think people put those two togeth- 
er, in combination, and think, Well, it must 
be bad for me, because if it tastes good 
and it's easy going down, then it's probably 

"I do worry about backlash a little," she 
continues. "We [our society] like to build 
something up and then tear it down. Par- 
ticularly women. Particularly actresses. Re- 
member Daryl Hannah? Remember Geena 
Davis? They just built them up to iconic 
stature and then ripped them down." She 
shrugs. "So, yeah, I guess it's coming," 

Because Huffman is deemed the Ac- 
tress—and also because she seems to have 
the least concern about status and perqui- 
sites—she gets little grief from the cast and 
crew. "Well," she says after one take, "that 
was lackluster." When she has a small issue 
with a stage direction, the director, Jeffrey 
Melman, hears her out at length. Minutes 
later, Cherry makes a rare on-set visit, re- 
solves the issue, and shuffles back to his 
bungalow. Impressed, Huffman says, "I think 
he has a vagina in his brain." 

uffman's trailer sits in a clus- 
ter of five identical ones, except 
that each bears the character 
name of the actress who uses 
it (as do their parking spots). 
Here, in what one crew mem- 
ber jokingly calls "the Hot 
Zone," Huffman waves good-bye and leaves 
just as the door on one of the other trailers 
swings open, revealing a hand-drawn paper 
sign designating the Lady within, bree van 
de KAMP. 

Here, hurriedly uncluttering her seating 
area, Marcia Cross apologizes for the un- 
Bree-ness of it all, smiles warmly, offers 
bottled water. In person, she's much softer 
and prettier than Bree, whose pinched fea- 
tures and bulging eyes make her seem like 
an enraged stag beetle. "I wish we had a 
new word to describe this show," says Cross, 
who gained a measure of fame in the mid- 
1990s while co-starring on the Citizen Kane 
of prime-time soaps, Melrose Place. "It has 
some wonderful artistic elements and com- 
edic elements, so I think 'soap' doesn't do 
it justice." 

Initially, Cross concedes, "I didn't have 
any idea that the tone would be the way it 
is. I was as limited in my thinking as the 
rest." This despite her bona fides. To wit: 
during the fallow period between hit shows. 
Cross went to graduate school at Antioch 
'Diversity, in Los Angeles, earned a mas- 
ter's ~^ee, and became a practicing clini- 

year, when asked to compare her 
.hows, Ca ss replied, "I don't know 


if this is legitimate or not, but I tho 
Melrose Place as like Andy Warhol 
think of this show as Kandinsky or 
cis Bacon. 

"It's a little more stressful to ha 
sudden impact," Cross says of her 
situation. "I'm sure there will be a ba 
I'm surprised it hasn't started. It alwa 
pens." She thinks harder. "I don' 
think of it so much as backlash. As 
erything in life, there's a cycle, and tr 
have its cycle— like all other thing 
come and go, that are in and out, th 
not gold." 

Conversation turns, inevitably, \ 
media's relentless obsession with the ! 
Lives of Housewives, specifically her 
"Honestly, I don't read it," Cross 
blanching slightly. "And I don't even 
the show right now. It's too much. It 
too much ..." 

Tapping her watch, an ABC pu 
smiles and summons Cross to the se 

A few minutes later, a tousle-haired 
wearing pastel sweats and Ugg-type 1 
emblazoned with the word love, sp 
through the Hot Zone and yells, "You 1 
my trailer!" 

This is Eva Longoria playing Eva 
goria playing Gabrielle Solis. Longo; 
the class clown, the hair twirler, the > 
persnapper. She's 30, but up close, 
out makeup and pouffy hair, she look 
As such, she has the most promisin 
ture —Maxim covers, a plum role in a 1 
coming Michael Douglas movie— anc 
most boldfaced romantic linkings. He 
singer JC Chasez, was a member of the 
band 'NSync; her next boyfriend, ' 
Parker, plays point guard for the San 
tonio Spurs. 

"I'm in a very different position i 
the rest of the girls," Longoria says. 
never had a successful show. So, for 
everything is new, and it's nice to be 
new kid on the block— with such seasc 
women taking me under their wings. A 
them have, and all of them have told 
how I should handle things. And it co 
in a very big-sister way, so I'm pretty h 
in that sense. There might be more p 
sure for them— as their 'comeback' fr 
their 'has-been' days. I have nothing 
prove yet." 

Longoria's hair twirling intensifies, 
cause she's somehow managed to get 
into it. "I'm pulling it out as we talk," 
says, heading for the hair-and-makeup ti 
er, where she continues, "I remember N 
cia telling me, before the show started, ' 
ready for your life to change.' 

"Now it's a dance not to overexpoi 
Longoria says. "Unfortunately, we work 
this business of continued on pagm 




MAY 2 0| 




Van De Ramp, 
topiary, with 
I ulp, who plays 
land, Rex. 
i of Melrose Place 
\ndy Warhol 
this show 
linsky or Francis 
savs Cross. 





* "^ 







» /£•* 

After wresting control of her fortune from her father, Athina Onassis Rons- 
wants to claim her full legacy as Aristotle Onassis 's granddaughter and 
sole surviving heir — including, some say, the presidency of Greece's most fam. 
foundation. Behind her is her fiance and fellow equestrian jumper, Olympic 

medalist Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto. As "the richest little 

girl in the world" comes of age, NICHOLAS GAGE investigates her finances, 

her romance, and the shadows of her tragic childhood 


Athina Onassis Roussel in 

Hamburg, Germany, for the 

75th show-jumping-and- 

dressage derby, May 2004. 

Opposite, with her fiance, 

Brazilian horseman 

Alvaro "Doda" Alfonso de 

Miranda Neto, near Cadiz, 

Spain, March 2004. 






met Athina Onassis 
Roussel. the last direct descendant of the 
shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, on a 
hot day in July 1999, when she was a tall, 
coltish, shy girl of 14. She was in Greece 
to attend the wedding of a second cousin 
at the seaside estate of her famous grand- 
father's stepsister, Kalliroi Patronicolas. 
Wearing a long-sleeved white jacket over 
a summer dress, Athina stayed close to 
her father, Thierry Roussel. all afternoon, 
speaking French in a soft, hesitant voice, 
never making eye contact with the distant 
relatives he introduced her to, always stand- 
ing slightly behind him, as if he were a 
shield between her and the world. 

The next time I talked to Athina, five 
years later, she seemed a different person. 
She had separated herself from her father 
and moved out of his house, and she was 
immersed in a bitter legal battle with him 
to win control of her fortune. Hearing that 
I was writing an article about her, she 
called me at my hotel in Athens and pep- 

pered me with so many ques- 
tions in fluent, nearly unac- 
cented English that I hardly 
had an opportunity to ask her 
any of my own. 

My investigation into the 
battle between Athina and 
: her father over the Onassis 
wealth has produced what 
' may be the first clear picture 
? of their complicated situation 
since Christina Onassis died in 
M 1988, leaving her three-year-old 
daughter as her only heir." I have 
uncovered details of the child- 
hood she spent under her fa- 
ther's strict control and come 
upon revealing glimpses of the 
person she is today. "The mere 
fact that she took on her formi- 
dable father at such a young age 
shows that there may be a lot more 
of her grandfather Aristotle in Athina 
than most people think," says Alex- 
is Mantheakis, who has known her 
since 1998 and who formerly served 
as a spokesman for Roussel in Greece. 
Athina's confrontation with her fa- 
ther and her newfound assertiveness are 
not the only surprising developments in 
the sole surviving heir of Aristotle Onassis, 
the Anatolian tycoon who revolutionized 
the shipping industry and captured the 
hearts of both opera diva Maria Callas and 
Jacqueline Kennedy. 

In 1999, as a timorous 14-year-old, Athi- 
na went to a court for minors in Oberen- 
gadin, Switzerland, with her father and 
renounced everything related to her grand- 
father's heritage. She made a statement in 
which she stipulated, according to a court 
report, that she felt "great aversion to any- 
thing that is Greek, even though she knows 
that her mother, her grandfather and her 
fortune come from Greece." This extraor- 
dinary declaration, clearly encouraged by 
her father, was in defiance of certain spec- 
ifications in the protocol that he had 
signed when he took custody of the three- 
year-old: "(1.1) As agreed with Christina 
Onassis when she was alive, Athina will be 
reared in the Orthodox religion. (1.2) . . . 
She will learn the Greek language so as to 
speak it fluently." 

On this issue, too, Athina has made a 
complete about-face. In the fall of 2003 she 
renewed the Greek passport her mother 
had obtained for her. This past January she 
joined an Athenian equestrian club called 
Avlona in the hope of riding in interna- 
tional competitions, including the 2008 
Olympics, in Beijing, wearing the blue and 
white of the Greek flag. And when the for- 
mer president of the Greek Equestrian Fed- 

eration, Isidoros Kouvelos, enrolle 
the club under the name her motll 
to register her birth— Athina C| 
Roussel— a close friend of the yoi 
ess asked him what she would ha^J 
to change her name officially fror 
sel to Onassis. 

What has brought about this dj 
transformation in Athina, and what 
will it have on the fortune created I 
grandfather? How has she changed 
frightened child, convinced that ( I 
father could protect her in a world! 
danger, to a defiant 20-year-old rd 
fight him in court for her legacy ar| 
sider rejecting his name? 

As her father's countrymen might | 
"Cherchez I'homme" 

The man in this case is 
Alfonso de Miranda 
the six-foot-two, dark-r| 
muscular, boyishly han< 
son of a Brazilian insu 
executive. Doda, as his t 
call him, is 12 years 
than Athina and has won Olympic n 
in the sport that is her passion, show 
ing. Far from the home in Switze 
where she grew up, Athina now li\ 
Sao Paulo, Brazil, Alvaro's native cityl 
has learned Portuguese and bought 
plex, reportedly for S5.8 million, in the 
best neighborhood, and on Deceml 
she plans to wed Alvaro in Sao Pauh 
cording to Konstantinos Kotronaki^ 
honorary Greek consul in Recife, whc 
the couple has asked him to be best i 
"Doda's been a strong influence on 
na and a very positive one, in my opinr 
Kotronakis told me on a visit to Ath 
"He's the one who urged her to take 
trol of her own financial affairs and to 
a new interest in her Greek legacy. He 
her, 'Onassis was a symbol of everytl 
Greek. How can you turn your back 
such a heritage?' " 

Friends of Thierry Roussel, 52, who 
the long and bitter struggle for the man; 
ment of Athina's fortune but who is belie 
to have wound up with a munificent se 
ment, are not so sanguine about Alva 
motives. "Now that Athina controls 
half of the Onassis money that her fat 
fought for— her mother's half— Alvarc 
positioning her to ultimately take cont 
of the other half, which Onassis left t( 
foundation in memory of his son." c 
Roussel supporter told me. "That fount 
tion is based in Greece and controlled 
a Greek board, and that may well be 1 
reason Alvaro is pushing Athina to 
discover her Greek heritage." 

If Athina does try to seek the presider 

208 I VANITY F A I R I www vanityfoir.con 

MAY 20 


"Dodas the one who 

rged Athina to take control of her 
| own affairs and take an interest 

in her Greek legacy 


Doda and Athina embracing 

each other after not making the jumping 

finals in a competition in Sao Paulo, 

Brazil, October 2003. Opposite, Aristotle 

Onassis with his two heirs, Christina 

_ and Alexander, in thr 1960s. 

of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Ben- 
efit Foundation, it is certain to produce 
an international battle royal that will 
make the two past struggles— between 
her and her father for Christina's mon- 
ey, and between Roussel and the foun- 
dation's directors over the management 
of Athina's fortune when she was a mi- 
nor—seem tame by comparison. "This 
is the most prominent foundation in 
Greece," says its president, Stelio Pa- 
padimitriou. "We are not going to turn 
it over to someone who has no connec- 
tion with our culture, our religion, our 
language, or our shared experiences, and 
who never went to college or worked ; 
day in her life. There's nothing we would 
want more than to have a descendant of 
Onassis become president of the founda- 
tion, but Athina's qualifications for the 
job are nil. She can do whatever she 
wants with what she inherited from her 
mother, but not with Onassis's legacy to 
the Greek people in memory of Alexander." 
According to Papadimitriou, the foundation 
has spent more than S80 million to build a 
state-of-the-art center for heart surgery in 
Athens, awarded more than 3,000 scholar- 
ships and grants to students over the past 
26 years, funded competitions in the arts 
around the world, and begun construction 
of an S80 million arts center in Athens. 

Athina's legacy includes not 
only a vast fortune but 
also a grim family history 
that evokes the classic 
Greek tragedies and is 
often referred to as the 
Onassis curse. Her moth- 
er, Christina, died in 1988 in Buenos Aires 
at the age of 37, from a heart attack pro- 
duced by acute pulmonary edema. Christi- 
na, who was found dead in her bathtub 
by her friend Marina Dodero and a 
maid, had battled eating disorders and 
depression most of her adult life, and 
she was considering marrying for the 
fifth time, having divorced Roussel a year 
earlier. Athina was then being cared for 
by a nanny on Christinas estate in Gin- 
gins, outside Geneva, but as soon as 
Roussel returned from Christina's fu- 
neral, on Skorpios, he had the little girl 
brought to him at his family's home in 

Christina had been smitten with Rous- 
sel from the moment she met him, and 
she fought desperately for the handsome 
playboy's affections, even tolerating the dis- 
covery that, while she was married to him 
and pregnant with Athina. his longtime 
mistress, Swedish model and translator 
Marianne "Gaby" continued on page 268 

2 10 | VANITY F A I R I com 





(1) Ooda and Athina at the Montenmedi 
jumping competition near Cadiz, Spain, 
2004. (2) Thierry Roussel, Christina 
Onassis. and their baby daughter. Athin: 
on a ferryboat in Greece, 1985. 
(3) Christina and Thierry swimming off 
the coast of Skorpios. Aristotle Onassis 
private island, circa 1985. (4) Athina in 
Punta del Este. Uruguay, 2003. 

(5) Aristotle Onassis with his beloved so 
Alexander, in Monte Carlo, 1966. 

(6) Athina (in beige suit) at 13. with her 
father, her stepmother. Gaby, and her ha 
siblings, Erik. Johanna, and Sandrine. 
on a visit to Athens. 1998. (7) Athina and 
her father vacationing on Ibiza. late 1980s. 

(8) An aerial view of the island of 
Skorpios, which now belongs to Athina. 

(9) Doda and Athina at an equestrian 
event in La Coruna. Spain. 
December 2003. 








George W. Bush's re-election has been 
explained as a red-state-versus-blue-state "values gap." But research 
shows a majority of Bush voters were misinformed about White House policies] 

on the environment, Iraq, and terrorism. Instead of news, they got 
propaganda, disseminated by the right-wing machine, corporate broadcasters, 

and journalists who think balance is reporting one side. In a new 

epilogue to his recent book, Crimes Against Nature, ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. 

shows how, almost two decades after Reagan's F.C.C. eliminated 

the Fairness Doctrine, the media have hidden the real gap — between 

America's values and those of its government 

any Democratic voters 
marveled at the election 
results. George W. Bush, 
they argued, has trans- 
formed a projected $5.6 
trillion, 10 -year Bill Clin- 
ton surplus into a project- 
ed S 1.4 trillion deficit— a 
S7 trillion shift in wealth 
from our national treasury into the pockets of the wealthiest Ameri- 
cans, particularly the president's corporate paymasters. Any discern- 
ing observer, they argued, must acknowledge that the White House 
has repeatedly lied to the American people about critical policy 
issues— Medicare, education, the environment, the budget implica- 
tions of its tax breaks, and the war in Iraq— with catastrophic results. 
President Bush has opened our national lands and sacred places 
to the lowest bidder and launched a jihad against the American 

environment and public health to enrich his corporate sponsi 
He has mired us in a costly, humiliating war that has killed m 
than 1,520 American soldiers and maimed 11,300. He has m: 
America the target of Islamic hatred, caused thousands of r 
terrorists to be recruited to al-Qaeda, isolated us in the world, i 
drained our treasury of the funds necessary to rebuild Afghanis 
and to finance our own vital homeland-security needs. He has si 
tered our traditional alliances and failed to protect vulnerable 1 
rorist targets at home— chemical plants, nuclear facilities, air-cai 
carriers, and ports. He has disgraced our nation and empowei 
tyrants with the unpunished excesses at Guantanamo and A 
Ghraib. These baffled Democrats were hard-pressed to believe tl 
their fellow Americans would give a man like this a second ten 
To explain the president's victory, political pundits posited 

Excerpted from the paperback edition of Crimes Against Nature, 

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to be published in July by HarperPerennial; 

© 2005 by the author. 



MAY 2 01 




Robert F. Kenned} Jr.. 

photographed on 

November 5. 2004, 

in New York. 





vast "values gap" between red states and blue states. They at- 
tributed the president's success in the polls, despite his tragic job 
failures, to the rise of religious fundamentalism. Heartland Amer- 
icans, they suggested, are the soldiers in a new American Taliban, 
willing to vote against their own economic interests to promote 
"morality" issues that they see as the critical high ground in a 
life-or-death culture war. 

T believe, however, that the Democrats lost the presi- 
dential contest not because of a philosophical chasm 
between red and blue states but due to an informa- 
tion deficit caused by a breakdown in our national me- 
dia. Traditional broadcast networks have abandoned 
their former obligation to advance democracy and pro- 
mote the public interest by informing the public about 
both sides of issues relevant to those goals. To attract 
viewers and advertising revenues, they entertain rather than in- 
form. This threat to the flow of information, vital to democracy's 
survival, has been compounded in recent years by the growing 
power of right-wing media that twist the news and deliberately 
deceive the public to advance their radical agenda. 

According to an October 2004 survey by the Program on In- 
ternational Policy Attitudes (pipa), a joint program of the Center 
on Policy Attitudes, in Washington, D.C., and the Center for Inter- 
national and Security Studies at the University of Maryland: 

• Seventy-two percent of Bush supporters believed Iraq had 
weapons of mass destruction (or a major program for developing 
them), versus 26 percent of Kerry voters. A seven-month search 
by 1.500 investigators led by David Kay, working for the C.I.A., 
found no such weapons. 

• Seventy-five percent of Bush supporters believed that Iraq was 
providing substantial support to al-Qaeda, a view held by 30 
percent of Kerry supporters. The 9/11 Commission Report con- 
cluded that there was no terrorist alliance between Iraq and al- 

• Eighty-two percent of Bush supporters erroneously believed 
either that the rest of the world felt better about the U.S. thanks 
to its invasion of Iraq or that views were evenly divided. Eighty- 
six percent of Kerry supporters accurately understood that a ma- 
jority of the world felt worse about our country. 

• Most Bush supporters believed the Iraq war had strong support 
in the Islamic world. Kerry's supporters accurately estimated the 
low level of support in Islamic countries. Even Turkey, the most 
Westernized Islamic country, was 87 percent against the invasion. 

• Most significant, the majority of Bush voters agreed with Ker- 
ry supporters that if Iraq did not have W.M.D. and was not pro- 
viding assistance to al-Qaeda the U.S. should not have gone to 
war. Furthermore, most Bush supporters, according to pipa, fa- 
vored the Kyoto Protocol to fight global warming, the Mine Ban 
Treaty to ban land mines, and strong labor and environmental 
standards in trade agreements, and wrongly believed that their 
candidate favored these things. In other words, the values and 
principles were the same. Bush voters made their choice based 
on bad information. 

It's no mystery where the false beliefs are coming from. Both 
Bush and Kerry supporters overwhelmingly believe that the Bush 
administration at the time of the 2004 U.S. election was telling 
the American people that Iraq had W.M.D. and that Saddam 
Hussein had strong links to al-Qaeda. The White House's false 
message was carried by right-wing media in bed with the admin- 
istration. Prior to the election, Fox News reporters, for example. 

regularly made unsubstantiated claims about Iraq's Wl 
anchor Brit Hume, on his newscast in July 2004, anr 
that W.M.D. had actually been found. Sean Hannity re 
ly suggested without factual support that the phantom 
had been moved to Syria and would soon be found. A| 
ber 2003 survey by pipa showed that people who wad 
News are disproportionately afflicted with the same misi I 
tion evidenced by the 2004 pipa report. The earlier study j 
for the source of public misinformation about the Iraq 
might account for the common misperceptions that S| 
Hussein had been involved in the 9/11 attacks, that he suj 
al-Qaeda, that W.M.D. had been found, and that world 
favored the U.S. invasion. The study discovered that "thej 
of Americans' misperceptions vary significantly depend 
their source of news. Those who receive most of their newl 
Fox News are more likely than average to have mispercepl 

■ \ nfortunately for John Kerry, many Anu 

H now do get their information from Fi 

I cording to Nielsen Media Research, i 

H ruary, Fox was the cable news leadei 

I an average of 1.57 million prime-time v 

H nearly 2.5 times CNN's average view 

V^ I in the same time slot— and from Fox": 

^^^fc^-' larly biased cable colleagues, CNB( 
MSNBC. Millions more tune to the Sinclair Broadcast Gr 
one of the nation's largest TV franchises. After 9/11. Sii 
forced its stations to broadcast spots pledging support for 
ident Bush, and actively censored unfavorable coverage * 
Iraq war— blacking out Ted Koppel's Nightline when it ra 
names of the U.S. war dead. It retreated from its pre-electioi 
posal to strong-arm its 62 TV stations into pre-empting 
prime-time programming to air an erroneous and blatantly bl 
documentary about John Kerry's war record only when its 
dropped 17 percent due to Wall Street fears of sponsor boy 
and investor worries that Sinclair was putting its right-wing i 
ogy ahead of shareholder profits. 

Americans are also getting huge amounts of misinform; 
from talk radio, which is thoroughly dominated by the exti 
right. A Gallup Poll conducted in December 2002 discovered 
22 percent of Americans receive their daily news from 
radio programs. An estimated 15 million people listen to F 
Limbaugh alone, and on the top 45 am radio stations in 
country, listeners encounter 310 hours of conservative talk 
every 5 hours of liberal talk. According to the nonprofit 
mocracy Radio, Inc., 90 percent of all political talk-radio progr 
ming is conservative, while only 10 percent is progressive, 
the leading talk-show hosts are right-wing radicals— Rush L 
baugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Oliver North. G Gon 
Liddy, Bill O'Reilly, and Michael Reagan— and the same app 
to local talk radio. 

Alas, while the right-wing media are deliberately misleading 
American people, the traditional corporatery owned media— C 
NBC. ABC, and CNN— are doing little to remedy those wrc 
impressions. They are. instead, focusing on expanding viewers 
by hawking irrelevant stories that appeal to our prurient inter 
in sex and celebrity gossip. None of the three major networks gs 
gavel-to-gavel coverage of the party conventions or more than 
hour in prime time, opting instead to entertain the public w 
semi-pornographic reality shows. "We're about to elect a presidi 
of the United States at a time when we have young people dyi 

2 14 ! VANITY F A I R | wwwvaniryfoircon 

MAY 20 

L\#iame overseas, we just had a report from the 9/11 commis- 
104 fiich says we are not safe as a nation, and one of these two 
j of people is going to run our country," commented PBS 
3 1 an Jim Lehrer, in disgust at the lack of convention cover- 
| 3S anchor Dan Rather said that "I argued the conventions 

art of the dance of democracy. I found myself increasing- 
iij I the Mohicans, forced farther and farther back into the 

>s and eventually eliminated." 
i broadcast reporters participating in the presidential debates 
j pparently so uninterested in real issues that they neglected 
:t the candidates a single question about the president's envi- 

ntal record. CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, who M.C.'d the final 
k :, asked no questions about the environment, focusing in- 

m abortion, gay marriage, and the personal faith of the can- 

and to intimidate and discipline the mainstream press into being 
more accommodating to conservatism. 

According to Brock, right-wing groups such as the Heritage 
Foundation and Scaife's Landmark Legal Foundation helped per- 
suade Ronald Reagan and his Federal Communications Commis- 
sion, in 1987, to eliminate the Fairness Doctrine— the F.C.C.'s 1949 
rule which dictated that broadcasters provide equal time to both 
sides of controversial public questions. It was a "godsend for con- 
servatives," according to religious-right pioneer and Moral Majori- 
ty co-founder Richard Viguerie, opening up talk radio to one-sided, 
right-wing broadcasters. (Rush Limbaugh nationally launched 
his talk show the following year.) Radical ideologues, faced with 
Niagara-size flows of money from the Adolph Coors Foundation, 
the four sisters, and others, set up magazines and newspapers and 

(•(•XXTT *) * * * *)*) 

Were in a situation, says 

David Brock, "where you have Ved facts and 

'blue facts' And I think the conservatives 
intentionally have done that to try to coniuse 

accurate information? 

s, an agenda that could have been dictated by Karl Rove, 
here is that dreaded but impossible-to-find "liberal bias" 
supposedly infects the American press? The erroneous im- 
ion that the American media have a liberal bias is itself a 
: of the triumph of the right-wing propaganda machine. 

rhe Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Me- 
dia and How It Corrupts Democracy, by David 
Brock— the president and C.E.O. of Media Mat- 
ters for America, a watchdog group that docu- 
ments misinformation in the right-wing media 
—traces the history of the "liberal bias" notion 
back to the Barry Goldwater presidential cam- 
paign, in 1964, in which aggrieved conservatives 
d against Walter Cronkite and the "Eastern Liberal Press" 
e Republican National Convention. In response to Spiro Ag- 
5 1969 attack on the networks as insufficiently supportive of 
n's policies in Vietnam, conservatives formed an organization 
i Accuracy in Media, whose purpose was to discredit the me- 
>y tagging it as "liberal," and to market that idea with clever 
lphrases. Polluter-funded foundations, including the Adolph 
■s Foundation and the so-called four sisters— the Lynde and 
y Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, Rich- 
vlellon Scaife's foundations, and the Smith Richardson Foun- 
>n— all of which funded the anti-environmental movement, 
t hundreds of millions of dollars to perpetuate the big lie of 
al bias, to convince the conservative base that it should not 
ve the mainstream, to create a market for right-wing media, 

cultivated a generation of young pundits, writers, and propagan- 
dists, giving them lucrative sinecures inside right-wing think tanks, 
now numbering more than 500, from which they bombard the media 
with carefully honed messages justifying corporate profit taking. 

Brock himself was one of the young stars recruited to this move- 
ment, working in turn for the Heritage Foundation, the Reverend 
Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, and Scaife's American Spec- 
tator. "If you look at this history," Brock told me recently, "you will 
find that the conservative movement has in many ways purchased 
the debate. You have conservative media outlets day after day that 
are intentionally misinforming the public." Brock, who admits to 
participating in the deliberate deception while he was a so-called 
journalist on the right-wing payroll, worries that the right-wing me- 
dia are systematically feeding the public "false and wrong informa- 
tion. It's a really significant problem for democracy. 

"We're in a situation," continues Brock, "where you have 'red 
facts' and 'blue facts.' And I think the conservatives intentionally 
have done that to try to confuse and neutralize accurate informa- 
tion that may not serve the conservative agenda." 

The consolidation of media ownership and its conservative drift 
are growing ever more severe. Following the election, Qear Chan- 
nel, the biggest owner of radio stations in the country, announced 
that Fox News will now supply its news feed to many of the com- 
pany's 1,240 stations, further amplifying the distorted drumbeat of 
right-wing propaganda that most Americans now take for news. 

Sadly enough, right-wing radio and cable are increasingly 
driving the discussion in mainstream broadcasting as well. At 
a Harvard University symposium the day continued on page 26 6 



n Thailand with her hoyfrfend, 
British photographer Simon Atlee, when last December's tsunami hit. fretra Nemeovi 

was amopg the lucky ones: with her pelvis shattered, the Czech supermodel clung 

to a tree /or eight hours until she was rescued. Atlee. meanwhile, had disappeared. 

Ten weeks later, in Prague, the 25-year-old iNemcova finally learned that 

his body had been identified, and she talked to LESLIE BE^ETTS about her lost love 

the terror of that day, and her gians to keep his memory alive 








Petra Nemcova, who 

survived the tsunami that 

hammered Southeast 

Asia on December 26, 

photographed in Prague, 

March 6, 2005. 

Her crutches are the only 

visible sign of the 

life-threatening injuries 

she sustained. 




■ t is March in Prague, 
but snow drifts gently through the frigid 
air, coating the city's ancient towers and 
spires with lacy shrouds of white. Famous 
for the way she looks in a bathing suit, Pe- 
tra Nemcova is bundled up in a sweater 
and a long cream-colored scarf knitted by 
her grandmother. Although she is walking 
again, she moves with difficulty, placing 
her crutches with apprehensive care on the 
icy cobblestoned streets. 

So today we have stayed inside our ho- 
tel, drinking green tea and talking about 
the catastrophic Asian tsunami that wiped 
out coastal communities from Somalia and 
Sri Lanka to India and Indonesia on the 
day after Christmas. Nemcova— a Czech 
supermodel heretofore best known as the 
cover girl on Sports Illustrated'* 2003 swim- 
suit issue— was luxuriating at an idyllic 
resort in Thailand with her boyfriend, Brit- 

beach, comatose but breathing. He could be 
suffering from amnesia. 

"He could be somewhere unconscious 
with brain damage," says Nemcova, con- 
flicting emotions flickering across her face. 
She understands all too well how bizarre it 
is to have one's last hope reduced to such 
an awful thought, but as long as no one has 
found his dead body, her love could still be 
alive. Stranger things have happened in this 
world— like the tsunami itself, a monstrous 
wave rising from nowhere on a perfect day 
to swallow nearly 300,000 people in 11 
countries. And when you are in love, it is 
hard to give up your last hope— even if you 
actually witnessed your boyfriend being 
dragged out to sea, screaming your name 
as he was swallowed by the roiling waters. 

At the moment, however, it's time to go 
to dinner. Nemcova makes a quick stop at 
her hotel room before heading to the chic 
restaurant where we are meeting two oth- 
er Czech models, Veronica Varekova and 
Tereza Maxova. Sitting down, Nemcova 
could be any pretty girl, but standing up in 
her black leather jacket and a rakish news- 
boy cap, she is transformed into a tower- 
ing beauty. As we enter the restaurant, she 
turns every head she passes. 

And at first everything seems fine. All 
three models pick at their identical plates 
of seared tuna, chartering excitedly. Nemco- 
va smiles often and participates in the con- 
versation, which ranges from the signature 
tricks each model uses before the camera 
to an earnest discussion of micro-financing 
loan policies in Third World countries. 

As usual, Nemcova looks radiant. She 
has exquisite skin, a perfect little nose, daz- 

"They had thousands of bodies 
Nemcova says, her face rigid wit 
fort of maintaining control. "The 
taking DNA, and they just identij 
mon's body." 

So there it is, in all its inarguable 
he will never come back. Nemcov 
crumples, and her friends reach out 
her hands as she sobs. 

"I had huge hope that he woj 
found," she admits. "I believed it for 
time. He was a great swimmer." 

But even now she allows herself I 
few moments of release before res I 
changing the subject. After dinner 
kova drives Nemcova back to her] 
"Are you ready to let him go?" Va 
asks quietly in the dark. 

"He never leaves," Nemcova repl 
feel always connected to him." The 
gets out of the car and goes upstairs 
room, alone. 


A I 


I it 


The next morning 
va has dark circles 
her eyes; she hasn't 
and makeup seem 
tile. "I didn't put 
thing on; I'm going 
crying all day," she 
her tone matter-o^ | 
"I'm gonna look like Rudolph." 

She reaches into her purse and 
out a small, elegant blue box from Sn^ . 
son of Bond Street, the British statio 
Nestled inside is Atlee's first-anniverl- 
present to her— a tiny leather book wit 
Love You" embossed in gold letters 
cover. "On each page he wrote a beai 



"Water started to come in. I heard Siddy screa] 

ish photographer Simon Atlee, when dis- 
aster struck. 

The tsunami sucked them out of their 
beachfront bungalow and hurled them into 
the raging sea. As the surging waters bat- 
tered her with debris, Nemcova's pelvis was 
shattered, breaking in four places. Atlee 
simply vanished. 

The 25-year-old model, who has spent 
the weeks since then recuperating in Thai- 
land and at her parents' home in the Czech 
Republic, knows that hers is only one of 
countless tragedies. "So much pain, for so 
many people," she murmurs, shaking her 
head helplessly. 

But Atlee's disappearance left her with 
agonizing uncertainty instead of resolution, 
and for 69 days she has held on to hope— a 
fragile, guttering flame, to be sure, but hope 
nonetheless. He could have washed up on a 

zling white teeth. Her glossy brown hair is 
pulled back Alice-in-Wonderland-style, and 
her dewy-fresh face is glowing. Perhaps her 
smile is a bit tremulous, but that is often 
the case these days. Perhaps her eyes are 
shining a little too brightly in the candle- 
light—are they suspiciously wet?— but again, 
they well with tears so frequently now. If 
you didn't see the crutches beside her 
chair, you would never guess that Nem- 
cova is recovering from injuries that near- 
ly killed her. 

And you certainly wouldn't guess that 
she has just received the most terrible blow 
of all. The evening is nearly over before 
Nemcova finally spills her secret: right be- 
fore dinner, when she went back to her 
hotel room, Atlee's sister called from En- 
gland to give her the news from Thailand 
she has dreaded for so long. 

moment we had together, a beautiful 
message we had, or a beautiful thing 
loves in me— how I curl my fingers, hoj 
crawl into the fridge and am sneakily ( 
ing," she says, her lips quavering. "It \ 
the most amazing present a woman can \l 
He was spending so much time on it— ) 
can see how much in love he was! It j 
makes you remember all these little thing 

Last night, after she got the heartbret 
ing phone call, Nemcova turned to the 
tie book. "I was crying so hard I could 
see the letters, and I was laughing hysto 
cally," she says. "The message from him 
me, in that moment of realization that '.\ 
was gone forever, was: 'Be happy. Laugl 
Simon give me lots of strength. I just fe 
so lucky to be in love with him." 

Nemcova had planned the vacation I 
Thailand as a special surprise for tl 


VANITY FAIR www vonitylair con 


-old photographer. "It's my favorite 

id he hadn't been before," she says. 

ge, with what happened there, 

ailand is like a second home to me. 

•d to show him how kind the people 

w beautiful the nature, the food, the 


y spent their first few days on a 
diving cruise. "Sleeping under the 
it was just so, so beautiful," says 
wa. "Simon was so happy. It's just 

fhow, in a split of second, everything 
ange so much." 

eyes fill with tears, but as usual she 
lerself back from the brink, willing 
'to focus on the positive. "I'm very 
ul for the moments we had in Thai- 
she continues after a bit. "It was like 
tale. We were always traveling; he 
ta London and I lived in New York, 
met around the world— Portugal, Mi- 
^ape Town. Chile, Vermont. Our jobs 
us apart, but to be unified just before 
ition— that was a huge gift for us." 
y had first met two years earlier on 
to shoot. "He was so special," says 
ova, who often refers to Simon by 
Tiih nickname, Siddy. "Siddy was al- 
very caring, considerate, and sensi- 
ie had the most beautiful blue eyes, 
lie was very manly; he would walk 
obs in his motorbike leathers— very 
He's also very funny. On the photo 
s, and in life, my stomach was hurt- 
>1 the time from laughing so much. He 
making people laugh— his favorite 
[g was 'A day without laughter is a 
lee took particular delight in playing 

3tra, Petra— whats happening' 

. on her; he would dress up in a dark 
ind tie to meet her at an airport, dis- 
id as a driver holding up a hand- 
ed cardboard sign with her name on 
emcova also admired the scope of his 
:sts and abilities. "He knew a lot about 

of things— not just photography, but 
>s like politics. He would go to the 
se of Commons," she says, wide-eyed. 

used to ski professionally. He was 
/ing caricatures, riding motorbikes, 
ng golf. He was very passionate about 
ything. When I started to recognize 
i was something happening with us, 
layed a song for me and said, 'This 

is for you.' It was 'I Would Die 4 U,' 
i Prince. Which is strange now when 
nk of it." 

his time she has to squeeze her eyes 
to keep back the tears. There is a long 

pause. Her whole face is scrunched up, 
like that of a small child trying not to cry. 
Mind over matter: this is what she believes, 
holding on to the idea like a life preserver. 
You can feel her whole body straining with 
the effort. 

"Siddy just loved life," she says finally. 
"He lived like a rock star. And he went 
away like a rock star." 

They spent Christmas Day on the beach 
at Khao Lak Orchid Resort, on the main- 
land north of Phuket. They drew in the 
sand with sticks, playing tic-tac-toe and 
hangman. They played football with a co- 
conut. They read books; Nemcova had 
brought Five People You Meet in Heaven. 

Although they were not officially en- 
gaged, she says, "We were talking about it. 
It was just a matter of time. We went for 
a romantic dinner on the beach, and we 


Clockwise from top: Nemcova and 
her bo\ friend. Simon Atlee, at a charit) 
fashion show in Prague. November 24. 
2004, a month before Atlee was killed 
in the tsunami: Nemcova and Atlee 
at the Home for Abandoned Children. 
an orphanage she supports in Prague, 
November 2004: the couple at a 
Cannes Kilm Festival event, Ma\ 20. 
2004; the Sports Illustrated cover that 
made Nemcova famous. 




While she is -till grieving for 
her lost love. Nemcova also Imams 
how fortunate she was to survive. 
"I feel like I'm living for both 
of us now" she sa>s. "1 feel not 
just a responsibility to do it 
as he would have, 
help other people 

The doctor said. "Don't let your mind drift into sadnt 

Lis is what I Yn trying to do' 

spoke about the future, planning how many 
children we would have. He said we would 
have two and take one child from the or- 

That night they watched White Christ- 
mas, which Nemcova had never seen. They 
fell asleep halfway through the movie, so 
the next morning they watched some more 
and then went for a walk on the beach, 
still peaceful and lovely despite the oncom- 
ing cataclysm, which was speeding toward 
them across the ocean. 

"There is a song in the movie called 'Sis- 
ters,' and we are both very bad singers, but 
we are singing 'Sisters,'" Nemcova says, gig- 
gling. "Then we are laughing and singing 
'Brothers.' It was very special, very roman- 
tic. We didn't finish the movie. Probably I 
won't see the end of the movie anymore." 

More tears. "It's amazing how, in a split 
of second, the most beautiful moments can 
change into the most difficult moments," 
she says again. 

fter they had breakfast, 
Nemcova started to 
pack. "We were sup- 
posed to leave in two 
hours for another place," 
she explains. "Siddy 
went to the bathroom. 
Then I hear people 
screaming, and I saw them jumping into 
the pool, and people running away. Every- 
one was very frantic. At that moment I 
thought maybe it's an earthquake. Then, in 
that split of second, water started to come 
in the bungalow. I heard Siddy screaming, 
'Petra, Petra— what's happening?' And then 
the water break all the windows and pulled 
us out. It was just so strong. You hear these 
horrible cracking sounds, because every- 
thing was falling, and then it just took us 
away, out of the bungalow." 

Atlee vanished almost immediately. "I 
saw Siddy— the last time when I saw his 
face, he was again screaming my name. His 
face was very afraid," Nemcova says with 
difficulty. "There was a roof from some oth- 
er bungalow, and I said, 'Grab the roof!'" 
But as Nemcova struggled frantically to 
save herself, Atlee was swept away. "I was 
able to grab the roof, but the power of the 
water was bringing all the wood and trees 
and garbage and pressing it into my pelvis, 
breaking it again and again and again and 
again," she says. "It was such pain— I was 
just screaming from the bottom of my 
lungs, because it was unbearable. Then the 
water released the wood, and I thought, 
There's my chance. But at the same mo- 
ment, there was another wave, and I was 
under the water, under a big layer of gar- 
bage. I tried to get continued on page 262 VANITY FAIR 



Dj\id Robinson, son of 
Hall of Fame second- 
baseman Jackie Robinson, 
photographed with a 
local \illager on his coffee 
plantation. Sweet I nit> 
Farms, in the Southern 
Highlands of Tanzania. 
December Hi. 21)04. 


Deep in the Tanzania!] hush. 

David Robinson, the 53-year-old son of 

hasehall legend and civil-rights hero 

Jackie Rohinson, has exchanged his 

uneasy compromise with U.S. culture for 

a tribal adoption, an arranged marriage, 

and an economic crusade. Through the 

farmers" cooperative he founded, he is using 

the world's second-most-valuable natural 

resource-coffee-to spur social change. 

In the latest chapter of a great American 

family saga, BRETT MARTIN learns about 

Robinson's childhood in lily-white 

Connecticut, his father's lessons, and the 

pride he has found in Africa 





(1) David Robinson and his three-vear-old 

daughter. Nubia. (2) David, aged four. 

with his parents. Rachel and Jackie. 

at their home in Stamford. Connecticut. 

December 13, 1956. the month 

Jackie was traded from the Brooklvn 

Dodgers to the New York Giants. 

(3) David confers with Shamte. a worker 

at Sweet Unity Farms. (4) David 

and Jackie at the March on Washington. 

D.C., August 28. 1963. (5) David 

and Nubia amble among the coffee trees. 

(6) David and his classmates 

at New Canaan Country 

School, late 50s. 

ne morning last year, David Robinson 
woke up early on Sweet Unity Farms, his 280-acre 
patch of land deep in the Southern Highlands of Tan- 
zania. At that peaceful hour, Robinson stood out- 
side the mud-brick farmhouse and prepared a cup 
of instant coffee, a somewhat tragic irony given that 
he was looking out on row after row of trees bearing 
some of the best arabica coffee beans in the world— 
so good, in fact, that at that very moment, half a 
world away, someone may well have been enjoying a 
cup of Sweet Unity Farms coffee at one of New 
York's finest restaurants. 

Robinson had arrived at the farm the previous 

Connecticut, where Robinson grew up. And it's far from the 
Brooklyn blocks where Ebbets Field once stood and where 
David's father, Jackie, changed the course of American history 
more than half a century ago. 

The most immediate answer to his question— What the hell is 
he doing here?— has to do with those rows of spindly green 
trees. Coffee is one of the world's most ubiquitous and problem- 
atic commodities; among legal natural resources, it has an an- 
nual trade value second only to oil. The world drinks some 2.25 
billion cups of coffee a day, with the U.S. accounting for a fifth 
of that. And yet— from Central America to Brazil to Indone- 
sia to Africa— the actual producers of coffee consistently rank 
among the poorest in the world. "We have always been the don- 
key in the chain," Robinson says. "Getting only enough money 
and food to go back to work, never developing the community." 

The last 10 years of globalization and trade liberalization have 
only made things worse. For years, coffee prices had been kept 
stable by international compacts known as the "green-bean agree- 
ments." In the mid-90s these agreements collapsed, allowing prices 
to plummet from a two-decade average of S1.29 per pound to 
a low in 2001 of 46 cents. It's all but impossible to grow good 
coffee for less than a dollar a pound. 

What David Robinson is doing in Africa is attempting to use 
his unique position to make things better. He's formed a coopera- 
tive of approximately 300 small coffee farms which, rather than 
selling its raw coffee to multi-national buyers in Tanzania, is mar- 
keting it directly in the United States. Against enormous odds, he's 
trying to create a model of progressive economic development that 
both links his two worlds and carries on his father's legacy. In the- 

iverybodys got a conscience. But they also have calculators''' 11 

night, and as he stirred his coffee (the good stuff 
would be roasted much later, in Brooklyn), he remem- 
bered that he had been greeted in the village with the 
news that a lion had been spotted nearby. "But then 
I remembered that it was a spirit lion, sent by some- 
body in the village as a hex on an enemy. So I think, 
I wasn't even here. It couldn't have been sent for me, 
right? And then I think, What the hell am I doing 
here, thinking about spirit lions?" 
I a reasonable confusion for a man who straddles two 
s— routinely traveling between the farm, which has no water 
mly enough solar electricity to power a few lightbulbs and a 
, and an office in a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper. To get 
/eet Unity Farms, which lies in the agriculturally rich Mbozi 
rict, you first take a 12-hour bus ride from Dar es Salaam, 
tie coast, to the small town of Mbeya, near the Zambian 
ler. The next morning, you jump on a packed minivan, or 
i-dalla, for a careening hour-and-a-half ride to a dusty inter- 
ion called Mlowo. From there, you hire a Land Rover or 
cup for the skull-jouncing trip to yet another, even smaller 
isroads. Then you walk for three hours— past grass-roofed 
5, grazing cattle, and neat plots of peanuts, corn, and coffee. 
It's a long trip from almost anywhere. It's far from the sleek 
mnes of Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe, in downtown 
inhattan, where Sweet Unity Farms coffee is sipped by cus- 
ners almost certainly not preoccupied by lions, spirit or 
lerwise. It's far from the leafy, lily-white streets of suburban 

ory, it's a model that could change the way the world does busi- 
ness. But, like his father, Robinson is taking on enormously 
powerful foes. And this could be his make-or-break year. 

Even without Jackie Robinson's well-recounted 
trials and triumphs, the Robinson-family story 
is a great American saga— one that parallels, 
nearly step for step, the progress of African- 
Americans in the 20th century. Jack Roosevelt 
Robinson, the son of sharecroppers, was born 
in Cairo, Georgia, in 1919. When he was still 
an infant, his mother, Mallie, joined the great 
migration out of the South, settling her family in the growing 
middle-class black community of Pasadena. California. 

Seeing athletics as a way to improve his lot, Jackie became 
a stellar all-around athlete. (Baseball may well have been his 
fourth-best sport, after football, basketball, and track.) Like mil- 
lions of other black Americans, he served in the army during 
World War II, a participation that would prove the spark of 
much of the civil-rights tumult to come. Though he would be- 
come famous for "having the guts not to fight back," in Brook- 
lyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey's famous phrase, 
he was court-martialed after an altercation with an officer who 
had asked him to sit in the back of a public bus. (He was 
cleared of all charges.) Later, he would travel to Birmingham to 
give a speech with Martin Luther King Jr. And in between 
he racked up a Hall of Fame career in the face of vicious ver- 

\y 2 5 


22 5 


bal assaults, death threats, and almost unimaginable pressure. 

Jackie and Rachel Robinson already had two children— Sharon 
and Jackie junior— when David was born, in 1952. Five years lat- 
er, Jackie left baseball and accepted the job of vice president at 
Chock Full o'Nuts. The family moved from the upper-middle- 
class black suburb of St. Albans— where their neighbors had in- 
cluded Count Basie, Leontyne Price, and Dodgers catcher Roy 
Campanella— to a big house surrounded by woods in the mostly 
white community of Stamford, Connecticut. 

On the surface, the move provided a suburban idyll for the 
Robinson children. And of the three children, David, gregarious 
and easygoing, seemed to have the smoothest adjustment to life in 
white society. He put on a blazer and khakis to attend posh New 
Canaan Country School, where for eight years he was the only 
black student. He had his own horse, a gift from a neighbor, which 
he would ride through the Robinsons' extensive wooded property. 

"I was actually a little annoyed by him," says Sharon Robin- 
son, who chronicled her own difficulties adjusting to Stamford in 
the memoir Stealing Home. "It seemed to me like he had really 
bought into the whole white, private-school thing. It wasn't until 
later that we learned about the struggles he'd gone through." 

David's class pictures from New Canaan Country School are 
strikingly reminiscent of his father's early team photos— one dark face 
surrounded by pale ones. At first, he fought with kids who hurled 
racial epithets. That changed when a classmate named Michael 
Colhoun stood up and defended him, unwittingly re-enacting an 
episode from Jackie Robinson's first season in the majors— the time 
when, in the midst of vicious jeering from the opposite dugout, the 
Dodgers' southern-born shortstop Pee Wee Reese sent a silent mes- 
sage to the major leagues by throwing his arm over Jackie's shoulder. 

"Any struggle David had, he internalized it," says Rachel Rob- 
inson, who, at an extraordinarily youthful 83, is still the presid- 
ing spirit of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Despite friendships 
with Colhoun and others, David's primary memories of childhood 
are of being alone in the thick woods behind the family house. In 
the first grade, David, a precocious writer, composed a poem he 
called "The Tree": "It stands there like a soldier not at all at ease / 
while children play around it in the summer breeze." Later, he 
would play a game. He'd leave instructions to release the family 
dog at a certain time and then hide deep in the woods, waiting for 
his pet to come searching. He called the game "Runaway Slave." 

"You can assimilate and you can compromise," says the son of 
Jackie Robinson, "but integration is not really an honest word." 

David Robinson with 5 of 
his 10 children— from left, 
Faith, Rachel, Saburi, 
Raheli. and Nubia. David's 
marriage to their mother. 
Ruti, in 1990, was 
arranged, according to 
local custom. 

There are more than 36 million people in Tanza- 
nia, and it often seems as though David Robin- 
son knows every one of them. On the streets 
of Dar es Salaam, cabbies shout out greetings. 
Outside his rented home, on a deeply rutted road 
on the city's outskirts, there's always a small 
group gathered to exchange news or ask ad- 
vice. His family alone represents a fair-size con- 
stituency: Robinson has 10 children, ranging in age from 41 to 
one year (3 from his first marriage, in the States; a daughter, 
Meta, born to a Namibian girlfriend in 1985; and 6 with his 
Tanzanian-born wife. Ruti). Another child, continued on page 259 

Jackie s objective was; to create black progress and pri< 


VANITY F A I R I www vanityfoir con 










"- — 





ffee is a medium like baseball was a mediumr 






» » » - 




,/F* ' 











1 7 

17 1 




Navigate life 




The super-yacht business is booming, with moguls such as 

Larry Ellison and Paul Allen vying to outdo one another in size, submarines, 

missile-detection systems, helicopter pads, and aquatic cars — 

not to mention "paparazzi lights," Picassos, and Philippe Starck interiors. 

MARK SEAL and photographer TODD EBERLE board a few 

behemoths to discover why jet-setters from Elizabeth Taylor to 

P. Diddy can't resist the billion-dollar waves 


Above, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's 413-foot Octopus has seven decks, two helipads, and a concert space for 260. 

Y20O5 | V A NITY FAIR 235 \l 



you ever seen anything so cool in your life?" 
Jamie Edmiston, the 29-year-old super- 
yacht broken has to shout, for we are in 
a Eurocopter EC 130 over the Mediterra- 
nean off Antibes, on our way to a yacht 
called Senses. It's May of last year, and all 
the giant luxury boats are clustered on the 
Cote d'Azur for the Cannes Film Festival 
and the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Having 
wintered in Palm Beach, the Caribbean, and 
beyond, the crews have streaked across the 
Atlantic while their employers flew on their 
Gulfstreams, Citations, Boeing Business Jets, 
and Bombardier Global Expresses. 

Edmiston and I have taken off from the 
so-called Quai des Milliardaires ("Dock 
of the Billionaires") at the International 
Yacht Club of Antibes, which was begun 
in 1999 to berth the biggest boats. As we 
fly over the seagoing behemoths, Edmiston 
points certain ones out: the Leander, 
parking-lot tycoon Sir Donald Gosling's 
stately home on water; Aussie Rules, built 
by golf star Greg Norman and recently 
sold to Miami Dolphins owner Wayne 
Huizenga, which has a swimming pool, a 
movie theater, and a dozen smaller boats 
on board; Sokar, the pride of Harrods own- 
er Mohamed Al Fayed, on which his son, 
Dodi, and Princess Diana spent their last 
days, in 1997. 

We're 12 miles offshore, the minimum 
requirement for a helicopter to land on a 
boat along the Riviera, approaching Senses, 
a 194-foot exploration yacht, one of the 
largest in the world, with interiors by Phi- 
lippe Starck and an abundance of "toys," 
a yachting term that can mean anything 
from a Jet Ski to a submarine. Edmiston 
cries, "Look at the dolphins!" The copter 
tilts sideways, and I can see dozens of 
dolphins, leaping into the air and lead- 
ing us straight toward the boat, as if they 
had been sent to fetch us. When we land 
on the fourth and uppermost deck, the 
yacht's co-owner, Alan Gibbs, 65, the New 
Zealand inventor, takeover artist, and 
telecommunications mogul, is standing 

| VANITY F A I R | www.voniryloir.con. 


New Zealand mogul 

Alan Gibbs and his daughter 

and girlfriend in the Aquada. 

around his 19- 
yacht, Sen.ser 

heliconter c 

c boat's 

u Cet the toys in the water!" 

< >uts Alan Gibbs, and 14 crew members scurry out 
Then he yells, "Launch the Aquada! " 


iristotle Onassis invented yacht culture. 

King Farouk called the Christina, with its ere 
of 60 and an orchestra, "the last word in opulence. 

II 1 h MO 1 1 IKK SI 

The notorious bar on 

Christina O, with barstools com 

in the foreskins of whales' penis' 

here Aristotle Onassis ronuuM 

such (ahled women as Maria Call 

Greta Garbo, and Jacquel 

Kennedy. Opposite, the e\ter 

of the \aeht tod 

i^i his bathing suit with two ravish- 
ng women in string bikinis at his 
;mma, his daughter, a neuroscien- 
id Sandra Baker, his Tahitian girl- 

bs leads us to the sundeck for lunch, 
out freedom to, not freedom from," 
s to explain the thrill of owning a 
"We're free to do, free to go, is how 
We're not going to fly to the moon 
leiv. But it would be hard to find a 
way to explore the earth than on 

boat beneath us is a $40 million 
h with a 120-ton fuel tank that costs 
00 to fill and can keep the yacht at 
a good part of the summer. Gibbs 
ken Senses halfway around the world, 
ere the first large yacht that actual- 
ted Tunisia," he says. "They couldn't 
cope with it. The helicopter just 
them nuts— that some private per- 
ould have a ship that looked like the 
and wanted to fly all over Tunisia in 

idenly he shouts, "Get the toys in the 
!" There is an instant buzz of walkie- 
s, and 14 crew members scurry out. 
oes the yacht's helicopter, and down 
e 42-foot tender, the 32-foot sailing 
, and six Jet Skis. Then Gibbs yells, 
nch the Aquada!" A hatch opens, and 
/orld's first high-speed amphibious 
libbs's invention, seven years in devel- 
tni and coming to the market soon, 

glides down a ramp into the sea. As its 
wheels retract, it turns into a speedboat. 
Gibbs drives, and the women sit atop bucket 
seats, spume wetting their hair as they seem 
to push the limits of extravagance. Back 
on board minutes later, Gibbs says, "That 
was really James Bond stuff out there. But 
Bond is only mucking it up. We're really 
doing it!" 


~^^B ver larger boats have re- 
. 1 placed palaces, estates, 
J and art as the ultimate 
I 4 symbols of wealth, which 
i . is not altogether sur- 
1 prising, given the fleet- 
I -^fl ing and disposable na- 
ture of our society," says Mark Getty, 
the son of Sir J. Paul Getty Jr., as he shows 
me around Talitha G, which was launched 
in 1929 by the head of Packard, sold to the 
chief of Woolworth's, requisitioned by the 
U.S. Navy during World War II, rescued 
by Saturday Night Fever movie producer 
Robert Stigwood, and immaculately re- 
stored by J. Paul Getty Jr. in 1993. Named 
for his second wife, Talitha G has six state- 
rooms, open fireplaces, Lalique glass doors, 
period art and furnishings, and the latest 
technology. Hollywood superstars and 
captains of industry can charter her for 
$350,000 a week, excluding gas and gra- 

It's the day of the Grand Prix in Monte 
Carlo, and from Talitha's aft deck Mark 

Getty and I are gazing out on a sea full 
of super-yachts. We can hear the Formu- 
la One race cars buzzing around curving 
hillsides above us and the crowd's cheers. 
But the bigger race is definitely here in the 
harbor, Port Hercule, where 111 boats pack 
every available slip— at a cost of $25,000 to 
$50,000 a week each— while dozens more 
that can't find space or are just too big to 
fit are moored around the harbor's rim. 
As big as cruise ships, super-yachts have 
names to match— Giant, Kingdom 5-KR, He- 
donist, Huntress, Limitless, Seawolfe, Pas- 
sion, Nectar of the Gods, Naughty by Nature, 
Big Roi. 

In order to see them up close, I de- 
scend three decks and get into a Wally 
Tender, the motorboat used to ferry own- 
ers, guests, crew, and supplies from ship 
to shore and yacht to yacht. Like every- 
thing else in yachting, the Wally Tender 
is over the top; this $670,000 propeller- 
powered Batmobile is considered a nec- 
essary accessory by everyone from the 
designer Valentino to Italian prime min- 
ister Silvio Berlusconi. I'm traveling with 
Luca Bassani, the owner of Wally Yachts, 
who has revolutionized yachting, first with 
sailing yachts and then with power ones. 
He slams the tender into gear, and the boat 
almost levitates, quickly bringing us right 
up alongside the huge vessels. 

They rise up from the ocean like mono- 
liths. There's the vanilla-colored, $100 mil- 
lion Pelorus (378 feet), one of four super- 

2 5 



Dallas-based mogul Darwin Deason 
'and his partner, katerina Panos, 
relax on the 205-foot Apogee, surrounded 
by other mega-yachts in the harbor 
at Monte Carlo. Opposite, the couple 
with their crew and security force, 
ready to greet guests for cocktails. 




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always Say tO people., 'Never spend more 
an 10 percent of your net worth on buying a yacht 
says super-yacht broker Nicholas Edmiston. 


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Ever larger boats have replaced 

palaces, estates, and art as the ultimate 
symbols of wealth" says Mark Getty. 




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J. Paul Getty Jrfs 

(7, restored in 1993 by the late 
mnenberg, long considered 
rld"s foremost yacht designer, 
ersonalized hat rack and umbrella 
»n the Talitha G. (3) The engine 
if Mexican industrialist Carlos 
i"s Princess Mariana. (4) A spiral 
se on the Christina O, the 
s yacht. (5) A windowed living 
i the Skat, the 231-foot floating house 
ice of Microsoft pioneer Charles 
vi. (6) Clothing designer Roberto 

aboard his 132-foot yacht, the RC 
'.) Cavalli Freedom. (7) An interior 
lially B, one of the many 

manufactured by Luca Bassani, 
sident of Wally Yachts. 





Dr. Charles Simon 

second from left, and com pa 

at the shaded Jacuzzi on ' 

231-foot. Kspen Oino-dcsi<> 

Skat, which Simomi \< 

as the perfect substitute hi 

house or an aparlnu 

Opposite, the Skat al anili 

yachts owned by the Russian oil billion- 
aire Roman Abramovich. Pelonts is equipped 
with bulletproof glass, a missile-detection 
system, two helicopters, a submarine, and 
high-intensity "paparazzi lights." designed 
to obliterate the film of any interloping 
photographer. Beyond that is Lady Moura 
(344 feet), owned by Saudi billionaire 
Dr. Nasser al-Rashid, with a 60-member 
crew, a fully equipped hospital, an on- 
board sand beach, and a 59-foot dining 
table. Next is Greek shipping tycoon Sta- 
vros Niarchos's 379-foot Atlantis II, which 
has rarely left the harbor since his death, 
in 1996. Then comes Delphine, launched in 
1921 by American automobile magnate 
Horace Dodge and requisitioned by Frank- 
lin Roosevelt for meetings with Winston 
Churchill and Vyacheslav Molotov dur- 
ing World War II; restored, it rents for 
S60.000 a day. 

Moored outside the port is Microsoft 
co-founder Paul Allen's Octopus, making 
its debut in the Mediterranean, having just 
sailed from New Orleans, where Allen 
used the boat to promote his company's 
new software at a convention of cable-TV 

executives. Built at a cost that reportedly 
escalated to more than S250 million, with 
a crew of 60 that includes former navy 
seals, Octopus is, at 413 feet, the world's 
largest privately owned yacht, so huge that 
the lifeboats strapped to its side look like 
tiny toys. Anchored by means of a dvnam- 
ic positioning system that enables the cap- 
tain to stop with perfect precision, it's a 
skyscraper with seven decks, two helicop- 
ter landing pads, a swimming pool, a bas- 
ketball court, an infirmary, a garage, a 
movie theater, and, in its belly, a port to 
house many of the 14 tenders. These in- 
clude a custom-built submarine that can 
remain underwater with 10 people for two 
weeks and a remote-controlled robot for 
exploring the ocean floor. There's a concert 
space for 260, a massive guitar sculpture 
that rises up through the entire height of 
the boat, and a recording studio, which is 
a second home to musicians ranging from 
Dan Aykroyd to Robbie Robertson. On 
the lowest level is an observation lounge 
with a glass bottom and stadium-strength 
lighting that illuminates the depths, for 
watching sea creatures. 

This colossus has everything on i 
torpedoes, which Allen declined whei 
builder suggested them for security. N* 
while. Allen's great rival, Oracle's Larr 
lison, has just completed Rising Sur 
critical feet longer than Octopus, a new 
ord for length. As J. P. Morgan once 
when asked about the cost of his y< 
Corsair III, which, at 300 feet and w 
crew of 70, was the world's largest ir 
early 1900s, "If you have to ask how 
it costs, you can't afford it." 

In the shadow of these monste 
the harbor is an array of sm 
yachts, which are still big enc 
to be classified as "mega-,"' or 
per-," a category that include 
powerboats and sailboats n 
than 80 feet long, according tc 
ane Byrne of Power & Motoryacht m 
zine. There are between 5,000 and 6, 
super-yachts in the world, and the nun 
is growing steadily— 622 were launche 
2003 alone. 

"It's a grand traveling home," says 
Charles Simonyi, one of the pioneer 


MAY 2 

n all of the Scandinavian capitals, we are 

always docked next to the kings or queen s palace, 
says Microsoft pioneer Charles Simonyi. 




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ian fashion magnate Diego Delia Valle's motor yacht, 
ilin, was formerly owned by President John F. Kennedy. 
' engine telegraph on the Marlin. (3) The hydraulic 
ing pool on the Christina O, the bottom of which rises 
>me a dance floor. (4) Architect Renzo Piano, who often 
rs his yacht designs to his architectural projects, on 
rihilli. (5) Clothing designer Giorgio Armani, wearing 
ises, with his Armani-clad crew aboard his yacht, 
riii. (6) The 118 WallyPowcr, one of the sleekest, fastest 
yachts on the market, is another product of Luca 
i's, complete with a pizza oven in the kitchen. 


Owner Carlo 

the Genoa-based 

and French designer 

Starck aboard 
silver sailing yacht 
a close-up 

: Mbr.U 

t terOClOUS design force 



the most 



"I'm On the WOrld S mos>faxurious sailing 
yacht, and I na^to live up tO/il/ says Mouna Ayou! 

about Phocea^bgr four -masted schooner. 


World-class clotheshorse Mouna 
Ayoub on Phocea, which sht 
bought in a dilapidated state for 
S5.35 trillion and restored at a 
cost of $30 million. Opposite, the 
boat's gleaming saloon. 

oft and a driving force behind the 

on of its Excel program, as he re- 

n the sundeck of Skat— Danish for 

rling." A slate-gray, 231-foot ves- 

is sometimes mistaken for a battle- 

t serves as the bachelor's home 

ice six months of the year. Dec- 

with Victor Vasarely and Roy Lich- 

in paintings and Arne Jacobsen 

chairs, Skat is the result of Simon- 

iled search for satisfying apart- 

I tried Montreal, I tried Monte 

I tried Copenhagen," he says. But 

e finally decided, join the dogfight 

cations and suffer the indignities 

al taxes, constant maintenance, and 

restrictions when you can sail into 

-art of the capitals of the world on 

irious, fully staffed fortress? "In all 

Scandinavian capitals— Oslo as well 

penhagen and Stockholm— we are 

s docked next to the king's or queen's 

he says. "We are occupying the 

real estate, and I have the nicest 

oom and a fantastic restaurant." 

)ugh Simonyi insists that he uses 

as a base to run his businesses, life 

on board most boats is pretty sybaritic- 
breakfast until noon, lunch until 3, cock- 
tails at 6, dinner until 12, and drinks until 

When the Grand Prix winner is an- 
nounced, every yacht in the harbor blasts 
its horn, and they sound like an armada of 
whales, drowning out the applause com- 
ing from Monte Carlo's natural amphithe- 
ater above. Within hours most of the boats 
will depart, untangling themselves from 
one another's anchor lines and heading out 
to sea. 

If you don't own a yacht, you can 
always charter one, at prices rang- 
ing from $203,000 a week for the 
175-foot Perfect Prescription (which 
Jaguar leased and lent to Brad Pitt, 
George Clooney, and Matt Da- 
mon during the filming of Ocean's 
Twelve) to $850,000 a week for Annaliesse, 
a 279-footer with 18 staterooms (instead 
of the usual 6). On the day of my visit, 
Annaliesse has been chartered for a wed- 
ding. Lionel Richie is on board to sere- 
nade the party, and the bride and groom 

and 100 guests arrive by helicopter, all of 
them dressed in white bathrobes. 

With the exception of Tiger Woods, who 
owns a 155-foot boat he christened Priva- 
cy, celebrities tend to lease or rent. Denzel 
and Pauletta Washington rent a yacht al- 
most every summer. Other renters include 
Magic Johnson, rap star Jay-Z, Steven Spiel- 
berg and Kate Capshaw, and Tom Hanks 
and Rita Wilson. If you can't charter, you 
can visit friends who do or, as they say in 
the yachting world, go hopping. "Yacht- 
hopping," explains fashion model Naomi 
Campbell, who took her first cruise a de- 
cade ago, on Mohamed Al Fayed's yacht. 
When I meet her, she's staying on Formu- 
la One racing impresario Flavio Briatore's 
Lady in Blue. Today, she says, she'll hop 
from Lady in Blue to Valentino's TM Blue 
One to the Brazilian party boat called Bossa 
Nova. "Boat to boat," she says. "It's disgust- 
ing. When I say, 'yacht-hopping,' I mean I 
go to say hi to my friends." 

I've been invited to spend some time 
on the Apogee, at 205 feet the 62nd-largest 
yacht in the world, according to Power & 
Motoryacht's 2004 rankings. It cost $66 







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www.vanityfoircom V A N I T Y FAIR 2 5 1 

million and charters for $345,000 a week. 
"Welcome to the Apogee," says the stew- 
ard who scoops up my luggage from the 
dock at Cagnes sur Mer and deposits it 
in a tender. Speeding through the soup of 
Jet Skis, minnow speedboats, and midsize 
yachts, I can see the Apogee and its own- 
er, Dallas-based international computer- 
services titan Darwin Deason, and his 
glamorous partner. Katerina Panos, wav- 
ing from the aft deck. They are flanked by 
the 17-member crew, standing in two neat 

They greet every guest this way, 10 of 
us all together, with the whole crew shak- 
ing our hands and introducing themselves 
before they escort us to the five guest state- 
rooms, each named for a Greek island. 
Our bags are unpacked for us, and Deason 
gives us a tour of the interior's 26,000 
square feet: the wood-paneled upstairs and 
downstairs saloons, the Apogee Qub Bar. 
the disco dance floor with a Wurlitzer juke- 
box, the formal dining room— all the way 
up to the fourth-level sundeck. where we 
forgo the fully equipped gym and the 12- 
person Jacuzzi to bake in the sun until 
cocktails are served. By then the twin Cat- 
erpillar engines are purring and we're 
cruising the 13 miles to Monte Carlo. 

4 A yacht is a demonstration 

/W of wealth." says yacht bro- 

/ ^k ker Nicholas Edmiston, 

/ M Jamie's father. Formerly 
r ^k C.E.O. of the venerable 

/ ^k yacht-sales-and-charter 

— I— m company Camper & Nich- 

olsons, Edmiston created his own business 
in 1996 to focus on selling and chartering 
"really big yachts," which he says means up- 
wards of 150 feet. Business is booming, 
with yacht construction up 22 percent over 
last year and a S950 million increase in 
sales, according to industry experts. "There 
has been a huge expansion in big yachts 
over the past six to seven years, with even 
bigger ones on the drawing board," says 
Edmiston. "More than ever in history— be- 
cause we've got more rich people. A yacht 
is probably the most expensive single pur- 
chase that anyone is ever going to make." 

Nothing else comes close. A jet? A man- 
sion? They are mere starter kits for yacht 
enthusiasts. "There was a huge prime estate 
that just came on the market in England— 
3.600 acres, the most beautiful grade-one 
house, designed by Sir Christopher Wren's 
protege. Immaculate. And that is $75 to 
S80 million. I'm selling yachts today for 
S 150 to $200 million." He looks out over 

the port of Monte Carlo. "I always si 
people, 'Never spend more than 10 ptl 
of your net worth on buying a yach 
the guy that wants to buy a yacht fo 
million is worth $250 rnillion." 

Time is of the essence, Edmiston 
because once you have enough mon 
buy a boat, chances are you don't 
nearly enough years left to enjoy it. "I 
the beginning of the planning to takin 
livery is three to four years," he says, 
if you're the 67-year-old billionaire st 
ing on the dock here with a young v 
an on your arm and she says, 'Hone\ 
love one of those!,' can he risk waiting 
years to get it built? Or is it better tc 
to the guy who just paid 50 million I 
new yacht, 'How about if I give you 
I know what I'd do." A new yacht frc 
German or Dutch shipyard can apprec 
approximately 25 percent the minute it 
the water, he says. 

"Roughly 10 percent of the price of 
yacht is what it costs every year to run 
adds Edmiston. listing the expenses: < 
tain and crew (plus helicopter pilots, per 
al maids, guides, masseuses, hairdress 
etc.). insurance, harbor fees, maintenai 
fuel— which industry' experts say can rui 
high as $300,000 for a summer's fill-up 

2 5 2 VANITY F A I R j 

MAY 2 C 

Imina Wly Tender with Luca Bassani, the 

owner of Wly Yachts, who has revolutionized yachting, 

first with sailing yachts and then with power ones. 

Paul Allen's Octopus. Edmiston motions across 
the harbor to a 300-footer. 'To paint a yacht 
like that is around $4 to S5 million," he says. 
"Of course, you don't have to do it every year." 
Most owners charter their yachts, but the 
super-rich never do; they want them in con- 
stant readiness. "I was on a big yacht down 
in Sardinia not long ago, and the owner was 
complaining that he couldn't get any decent 
fresh fruit," says Edmiston. "It's a nice place, 
Sardinia, but not really noted for agricul- 
ture. So there was a helicopter on the yacht, 
which I sent to the market in Cannes, a 400- 
mile round-trip. He got his raspberries and 
strawberries and was very happy." The fruit 
probably cost $4,000 in fuel and other ex- 
penses. "Who cares?" says Edmiston. "Wfrt. 
I cared about is that the owner got what he 

6 r I This yacht took two years in dreaming, 
J. three years in building," says Mexico 
City industrialist Carlos Peralta, standing 
on his seventh boat, a Swarovski-crystal- 
encrusted fantasy called Princess Mariana, 
for his wife. It has six decks, six bars, 1,600 
movies, 16,000 pre-programmed songs, three 
chefs, a cellar with 2,000 bottles of wine and 
1,000 bottles of tequila, a laundry, a wall 
that opens to turn a bedroom into a terrace, 
and such high-tech features as fingerprint- 
identification pads to secure staterooms and 
other areas. We're bobbing in the bay off the 
Hotel du Cap, surrounded by yachts, in- 
cluding Barry Diller's two-masted ketch, The 
Mikado. Peralta tells me that covetous Saudi 
princes have been circling his boat all week 
in powerboats, and that he has turned down 
several offers to sell it at an enormous prof- 
it. "It's the most expensive thing you can 
build." he says, "but it gives you pleasure 
like nothing else." 

"I've bought a second boat that I call the 
Lady Lola Shadow, a 186-foot. 20-year-old 
supply vessel, and I've just loaded her with 
toys," says Idaho-based newspaper magnate 
Duane Hagadone, who, in commissioning 
his 205-foot Lady Lola, admonished the de- 
signers, "Give me some sizzle!" The result 
includes the 18-hole Lady Lola Golf Club, 
where golfers hit floating golf balls off a re- 
tractable tee on the sundeck toward 18 float- 
ing pins and have their games tracked by satel- 
lite and displayed on a television screen. "The 
second boat follows along behind the Lady 
Lola. I've got a custom-made wooden boat, 
a 150-mile-per-hour speedboat, a submarine, 
landing boats, canoes, kayaks— 17 boats, plus 
the helicopter, in the Lady Lola fleet. ' 

"Most people don't even know they want 
a yacht." international boat broker Steve 
Kidd says of his clientele, powerhouses who 
think they've done it all until someone leaus 
them onto a yacht and into another dimen- 
sion. "Fifty kilograms of Iranian beluga at 
S500,000, 300 bottles of Dimple scotch? 300 

bottles of Johnny Walker Black, 50 cases of 
champagne, 40 pounds of foie gras, close to 
100 pounds of Niman Ranch beef— bill just 
shy of a million," says a provisioner of one 
boat owner's memorable order. London-based 
designer Donald Starkey adds, "I've personal- 
ly put on one yacht alone a Picasso, a Dubuf- 
fet, two Utrillos, two or three Chagalls, and 
more. The value of the art is probably three 
times the value of the yacht." Valentino's rep 
Carlos Souza says, "Whenever guests come to 
TM Blue One, they make sure they pack lots 
of cashmere, because Valentino likes the tem- 
perature subzero, the air-conditioning running 
full blast." Public-relations executive" Lara 
Shriftman tells me, "On one boat I went on, 
they had a different set of designer china for 
every single meal. The crew cleaned the boat 
morning, noon, and night. In the bathrooms 
they had 20 different kinds of shampoo in a 
basket for a lot of high-maintenance girls. All 
the linens were Pratesi— 600-thread count." 

What is it about a yacht that bewitches 
the super-rich? "Abandonment, an im- 
mediate yes," says the actor George Ham- 
ilton without hesitation. King Edward VIII 
engaged in his romance with Wallis Simp- 
son, which led to his abdication, during a 
1936 charter on a steam yacht called Nahlin. 
But the allure of a yacht goes beyond mere 
romance. Occidental Petroleum magnate 
Armand Hammer had three wives, but the 
only photograph he carried in his wallet was 
of his yacht, according to Nancy Holmes in 
her book The Dream Boats. Fiat chairman 
Gianni Agnelli, whose yachts included Ag- 
neta, a teak beauty with rust-colored sails, 
liked to say, "You can tell what a man is like 
only by his boat and his woman." 

After dining on Gloria and Loel Guinness's 
yacht. Sarina, in the 60s, Elizabeth Taylor told 
Richard Burton she wanted one. "We char- 
tered a sweet old lady, whose original name 
I've forgotten, to go to the Greek islands." Tay- 
lor tells me, describing the dilapidated, 165- 
foot motor yacht built in 1906 that she and 
Burton bought for $200,000. They named her 
Kalizma, an acronym for their children Kate, 
Liza, and Maria, and spent a reported S2 
million in restoration. "She wasn't pretty 
at all on the interior— all navy and nautical 
trim— and yet there was something so charm- 
ing about her. Richard and I fell in love with 
her immediately, although it meant doing a 
complete revamp. I hired a decorator and 
asked him to remove every trace of the nauti- 
cal theme. We put in diesel engines and stabi- 
lizers and transformed her into a cozy, com- 
fortable, pretty little house, very romantic 
and colorful. We hung our paintings in the 
dining sa'oon and put Louis Quatorze chairs 
in the 1; ng room. The bedroom was all yel- 
low and \ ite. I think it was the prettiest one 
we ever had. There were rooms for all the 
kids, and we us I her as a floating home. 

We took her up the Thames and 
our dogs on board because of the qi 
laws in England. Other boats would 
and shout that we had the largest 
kennel in the world. She gave us moil 
sure and fun and was the best present 
gave each other." 

I'm on a tender off the coast of Cap 
sailing toward the mother ship of 
yachts, the Christina O. On this 32 
former Canadian Navy frigate, whicrj 
totle Onassis bought in 1954 for $." 
and transformed at a cost of $4 millk 
Greek tycoon invented yacht culture: 
on his boat for months at a time, col 
ing his international business empire 
his master suite, seducing in his "1 
stateroom such fabled women as ' 
Callas, Greta Garbo, and Jacqueline! 
nedy. "So this it seems is what it is td 
king," Jackie Kennedy allegedly said 
she first stepped onto the Christina in 
ber 1963. 

King Farouk called the Christina "tl 
word in opulence." and in Jackie's day 
a crew of 60, two French hairdressers 
chefs, a masseuse, a maid for each of t 
staterooms, and a small orchestra. Res 
for S50 million and relaunched as the <§- 
tina O in 2001 by a syndicate, the yacit \ 
booked for a cruise for S1.54 million fo 
weeks during the 2004 Olympics, in At 

"This boat is a place of fire, burning 
a place of romance, power, and beai 
says Michel Blanchi, of the Christina O 
nership. as he takes me through the C 
Lounge, which has a Steinway piano 
the Lapis Lounge, with its famous lapis 
fireplace; the aft deck, with the hydn 
swimming pool whose bottom rises to be 
a dance floor; the master suite, with a p 
ing by Renoir in it; and into Ari's Bar 
handles on the bar are whales' teeth ca 
with pornographic scenes from The Ody 
and the seats are covered in the foreskii 
whales' penises. Once, leading Garbo tc 
bar, Onassis said, "I'm going to sit you or 
biggest prick in the world." She respon 
"Mr. Onassis, you are a presumptuous m 
But she soon succumbed to his advanc 

Onassis's arch-enemy, fellow Greek s 
ping magnate Stavros Niarchos, not ( 
married Onassis's first wife, Tina, but 
had the gall to compete with him in be 
When Onassis converted the Canadian fri 
Stormont into the Christina, he added at 
30 feet so that it would be bigger than > 
chos's boat. When Niarchos dared to b 
an even bigger yacht, the Atlantis II, 55 
longer than the Christina, with a gyroso 
cally controlled swimming pool whose w 
remained steady in rough seas, Onassis w 
ballistic. "I was actually there, and Ona 
was furious!" says Peter Evans, author of 
books about him, Ari and Nemesis. "M 

254 I VANITY F A I R | www.vonilyfoir.coT, 

MAY 20 

q one calls around the world, to see 

jii ould get a gyroscope adapted for his 
Evans smiles. "Rivalries and silliness. 

: mattered to these people." 
^ueline Kennedy Onassis unwittingly 

• e a bellwether of the coming craze for 
supremacy. Having heard all about 
sband's sexual conquests on the Chris- 

n vans says, she almost persuaded him to 
and design a new yacht from scratch, 
[called Jacqueline. She even had the 
t designer to suggest: Jon Bannenberg. 

obody needs a yacht," Jon Bannen- 
berg liked to say, so instead of design- 
chts for practicality, he created yachts 
ipoke to his clients' dreams. "He 
Id the floodgate of imagination," says 
irilbert, the founder of Show Boats Inter- 
al magazine. "When he came into the 
:ss, teak and mahogany were the only 
s; blue and white and the occasional 
, green were the only colors. This guy 
' telling people that the same princi- 
fhat apply to fashion should apply to 
s, that a yacht should stimulate all of 
tnses, not just the nautical senses." One 
1 shipyard added S 1 million to the cost 
;ry Bannenberg-designed yacht for what 
led "the Bannenberg factor." 
ly father never lost sight of the fact that 
' us in this amazing business owe our 
toods to people who spend, well, you 
the sums, so he always made the whole 
;ss the most fantastic, exciting experi- 
' says Dickie Bannenberg, who has run 
Jannenberg Ltd. since shortly before his 
r's death, in 2002. A Sydney-born interi- 
jsigner, Jon Bannenberg began his yacht- 
ining career in the early 1960s, when 
3f the clients of his London firm asked 
what he thought about the plans for the 
t he was building. "It's terrible," Ban- 
>erg said. When the client dared him to 
etter, Bannenberg did, and thereby em- 
ed on a career that would span four 
ides and the creation of about 200 
ts. He introduced many of the features 
are standard on today's big vessels: bold 
and window shapes, split-level saloons, 
itors, back stairs for crew, his-and-her 
», movie theaters, and such special touch- 
aft-deck garages for automobiles, 
is creations included Carinthia V, for 
nan retail tycoon Helmut Horten (who, 
it sank on its maiden voyage, command- 
annenberg to build another, bigger and 
r); the Highlander, for Malcolm Forbes; 
\ady Ghislaine, for British media baron 
;rt Maxwell (whose drowning off the 
t in 1991 remains a mystery); the South- 
Zross III, for Alan Bond, the Australian 
strialist who won the America's Cup; 
estoration of Talitha G, for Sir J. Paul 
y Jr.; and the 316-foot Limitless, for the 
ted-store magnate Leslie Wexner. 

The yacht that shocked everyone was the 
$70 million Nabila, which Bannenberg 
designed for Adnan Khashoggi. When it was 
launched, in 1979, it was the most opulent 
yacht in the world. Nabila Khashoggi, the 
daughter of the notorious arms dealer, meets 
me in a Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, in her 
home base of Los Angeles. In her mind the 
Nabila is as new as it was on the day it was 
launched, when she was 15. "Your baba 
made a boat!" she remembers being told be- 
fore being led, with her eyes covered, by her 
stepmother, Lamia, and her nanny to a slip 
at the Benetti shipyard in Viareggio, Italy, 
where the Nabila stood on stilts. "I opened 
my eyes and . . . first, the size!" she remem- 
bers. "I just burst into tears." 

The 270 -foot silver yacht had twin engine 
exhausts that resembled wings, a crew of 40. 
three chefs, 11 staterooms, a helicopter, a 
movie theater, a disco, a hospital with rotat- 
ing crews of surgeons (and coffins, just in 
case), 296 telephones, and a fortune in re- 
volving art. "It looked like a silver bullet," 
Nabila remembers. When it was launched, 
hundreds of doves were released and priests 
and imams said prayers. Soon celebrities the 
world over began streaming on board, and 
spectators packed docks whenever the vessel 
pulled into port. 

"I went on the Nabila with Elizabeth Tay- 
lor," says George Hamilton. "A plane was 
sent for us. You would have thought you were 
landing on the Titanic. I don't think Elizabeth 
ever wanted to leave. There were helicopters 
that would take you wherever; if you wanted 
to go to another country, you were on a plane 
in 15 minutes." 

Khashoggi also filled his yacht with a 
steady supply of beautiful, consenting young 
women. "Oh, definitely," Nabila says. "My 
father certainly lives life to the fullest, but 
there's an elegance about him. So it wasn't 
like a frat party. But there were a lot of girls 
. . . when my stepmother wasn't there." 

The party ended in 1989, when Khashoggi 
was jailed on charges of mail fraud and ob- 
struction of justice. (He was acquitted the 
following year.) The first thing to go was the 
yacht, which he sold to Donald Trump for 
S25 million, after deducting SI million on 
the assurance that Trump would change its 
name. Trump called it Trump Princess. The 
vessel was later sold to Prince Alwaleed Bin 
Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, currently the 
world's fourth-richest man, according to 
Forbes, who renamed it Kingdom 5-KR and 
who also bought Trump's stake in the Plaza 
hotel. "If I wanted revenge on Donald, I'd 
marry this guy and get everything back," 
Ivana Trump said as a joke while I was inter- 
viewing her about her own yacht, M/Y Ivana. 

"Just recently, I was walking with my fa- 
ther on the Croisette, in Cannes, and Prince 
Alwaleed was sitting at a coffee shop, and the 
Nabila, now the Kingdom, was in the bay," 

says Nabila Khashoggi. "He invited us to sit 
with him, so there were the three of us sit- 
ting and talking about the boat, how beauti- 
ful it was. It was very sweet, because to me 
Prince Alwaleed called his boat the Nabila." 

Sue matters is the message on Michael 
Breman's T-shirt. Breman is sales direc- 
tor of Liirssen, the German shipyard, and we 
are bobbing on a dinghy beneath the blue 
bow of Paul Allen's Octopus. Liirssen built 
it as well as Larry Ellison's Rising Sun, and 
"Size matters" is the shipyard's unofficial 
slogan. Beside Breman is Espen 0ino, the 
Antibes-based designer of Octopus and other 
breakthrough yachts. They were together in 
Oino's office in 1998 when the "brief," or 
purchaser's outline for a new yacht, came 
through Oino's fax machine. 

"Wow, this is the boat I would build if I 
had the money," Breman remembers saying 
when he read the fax, although the two men 
refuse to identify the client and will discuss 
only the yacht, which several other designers 
and shipyards also made bids to build. "The 
client didn't want a flashy little Mickey 
Mouse yacht," says Breman. "He wanted a 
yacht in ship's clothing," says 0ino. 

As we circle Octopus, we can see many of 
the 46 antennae for every imaginable com- 
munications device as well as the two life- 
boats capable of rescuing the crew of 57 and 
26 guests. Using the Finnish icebreaker Fen- 
nica as a model, Oino won the commission 
for the boat, which took three years to build. 
As always, Breman consulted his daugh- 
ter, Josi, then seven, when he was trying to 
come up with a name. "Octopus," she said, 
and the name stuck. 

Like Allen, Larry Ellison had been strick- 
en by the notion of the perfect yacht. Like 
Allen, too, he already had three yachts, in- 
cluding the Katana, formerly owned by Mex- 
ican TV titan Emilio Azcarraga Milmo, who 
pushed his designer, Martin Francis, to 
create a wonder, according to Oino, who 
worked on the boat with Francis. "He said, 
'I am a very private person and I don't want 
to be seen. But when I do go to port, I want 
my presence to be felt through my boat.'" 
The result was one of the world's fastest and 
most stylish vessels, with a gas-turbine jet en- 
gine, three decks of cyclopean windows, and 
a 260-foot oil tanker so that El Tigre, as 
Azcarraga was known, could refuel at sea. 
Ellison bought the yacht from Azcarraga's 
estate in 1998 for $25 million, spent $35 mil- 
lion overhauling it, and recently sold it for 
$68 million. But this almost perfect yacht 
only "drove him to contemplate what the per- 
fect boat would be like," Matthew Symonds 
writes in Softwar, his biography of Ellison. 
The perfect yacht would be "a proper ship, 
not some ghastly floating palace," Ellison 
told Symonds. After interviewing every con- 
ceivable designer, Ellison walked into Jon 



Bannenberg's office off London's Kings Road 
in late 1999 and found the man to interpret 
his dreams. 

Bannenberg didn't live to see Rising Sun's 
completion, but he finished the design. "It's 
not only the greatest yacht that I have ever 
built but the greatest that has ever been built 
in the tradition of great yachts going back to 
1810," he told Symonds. 

A longtime bitter rival of Paul Allen's in 
business and yacht racing, Ellison originally 
called the boat by the code name LE120, 
for its 120-meter length (393 feet). But Elli- 
son eventually decided to extend Rising Si n 
to 460 feet, 47 feet longer than Allen's Octo- 
pus. "The boat is very beautiful— a kinetic 
sculpture made of metal and glass," Ellison 
told Symonds. "But in a post-September 
eleventh world it seems excessive. Now 
everything that's not essential seems exces- 
sive. Beautiful gardens and beautiful boats 
have lost their place in the dangerous new 
world we live in. They no longer promise 
an escape from the world. There is no es- 
cape anymore." 

The race, however, is hardly over. "I'm 
presently designing a yacht that will outsize 
Rising Sun considerably, but I can't tell you 
any more," Espen 0ino informs me. 

In addition to luxury and size, the super- 
yachtsman yearns for speed. Larry Ellison 
almost died for it, pushing himself and his 
crew to sail through a hurricane-force storm 
in which five boats sank, six men died, and 
at least 55 sailors had to be rescued by heli- 
copter, to win the Sydney-to-Hobart race in 

Robert Miller, the Hong Kong-based own- 
er of Duty Free Shoppers, the international 
chain of stores, forsakes everything for speed. 
"He likes the action, the shit fight, when things 
get hairy," says the captain of the Mari-Cha 
IV the world's fastest monohull racing yacht, 
of his boss and skipper. An engine-room fire 
400 miles off the coast of Brazil, sharks in 
Madagascar, and hellish storms around Cape 
Horn are all occasions to which Miller has 
risen. His captain, Jef D'Etiveaud, says that 
the 72-year-old tycoon is happiest when awak- 
ened in his bunk— a hammock swinging in 
an otherwise empty cell— to steer his ship 
through a churning sea. 

"When you get to a certain speed, she 
sings, she tingles, and she roars— she loves 
the speed," the soft-spoken, Massachusetts- 
born Miller tells me as we step onto his 
yacht, a 140-foot sailboat emblazoned with 
a red dragon logo, which he commissioned 
at a cost of roughly $ 10 million for one pur- 
pose only: to break world records. (Most re- 
cently he did the San Francisco-to-Hawaii 
run in just over five days.) He can have all 

the comfort he needs on his other boat. 
Mari-Cha HI, with its museum-quality art, 
John Munford interiors, and Honduran ma- 
hogany paneling, in the company of his 
Ecuadoran wife, Chantal, and their three 
daughters and 10 grandchildren. 

On his racing yacht, Miller does whatever 
it takes to win: spending weeks with his crew 
of up to 26 (which has jncluded his son-in- 
law Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece), ration- 
ing water, eating freeze-dried astronaut food, 
and living in a stripped-clean hull with noth- 
ing to weigh it down. Miller is proud of his 
current dominance in racing, and he'd like 
to see if he can break the monohull record 
for sailing around the world, which stands at 
93 days. He expects Mari-Cha IV \o continue 
winning for at least another year, by which 
time someone will have managed to build a 
faster boat. "I'll be very unhappy," says Mil- 
ler, knowing that when that happens he'll be 
back at the drawing board. 

4T'mon the world's most luxurious sailing 
X. yacht, and I have to live up to it," says 
Mouna Ayoub as the moon rises over Cap- 
Ferrat and her stewards serve us a six-course 
extravaganza of nouvelle-French fish dishes 
on the everyday Christofle by Bernardaud 
china— not the 150-year-old Meissen, which 
is reserved for royalty. Our hostess is wear- 
ing white fox, a Galliano gown, and big dia- 
monds, and we are on Phocea, her magnifi- 
cently restored four-masted schooner, which 
has a 16-member crew and sycamore interi- 
ors by Viscount David Linley, nephew of the 
Queen. Having divorced one of the world's 
richest men, the extravagant couture buyer 
oversees every aspect of her yacht, which 
she charters out for 197,000 euros a week. 

She calls her acquisition of the boat "a 
love story about a woman who was deprived 
of freedom since she was five, a love story 
about a woman who found love and free- 
dom. It's not a man who gave me this. It's 
Phocea. " She spotted Phocea in the Bay of 
Volpe. off Sardinia, in 1992 and fell in love 
with it. Back then she was ensconced on 
Lady Moura, now the seventh-largest yacht in 
the world, the 344-foot possession of Saudi 
Arabian Dr. Nasser al-Rashid, which, when 
it was launched in 1991 at an estimated cost 
of SI 00 million, was the most expensive yacht 
ever built. Ayoub had designed the interiors, 
"the whole boat, every inch," and its name 
was an acronym of her name and Rashid's. 
The couple divorced in 1996. 

In her memoir, La Verite, she wrote that 
her life as the wife of a Middle Eastern mag- 
nate was a prison from which she could es- 
cape only in an abaya and veils, but tonight 
she refuses to discuss her ex-husband or his 
boat. She recalls the morning in 1992 when 
she left Lady Moura on a tender for a jog 
along the Bay of Volpe and first saw Phocea. 
She swam up to it and asked for a tour. Her 

request was denied because the ov 
preneur Bernard Tapie, who owns thd 
pic Marseille football club, was aslei 
Back on Lady Moura, Ayoub sl\ 
the A Deck and gazed at Phocea. 
that with those sails I could go am 
even without an engine," she says. Sr | 
a vow: "One day she's going to be 
and nobody is going to prevent ml 
coming on board." Even before her cl 
she went after Phocea, and after itsf 
was convicted of bribery, the yacht 
up. she has written, "sad and neglet 
Port Vauban, where she lingered for i 
begging for love and care. I decided i 
should be the one to save her." Thoi 
chief engineer of Lady Moura told ht i 
cea was a wreck, Ayoub bought it at | 
for S5.35 million and launched a $30 

Yachtsmen speak about porn 
yachts with all-female crews, and 
with stripper poles and endless lines ol 
ley dollies," those loose young womi 
ever eager to roll their suitcases down 
planks. But the template for misbeha\ 
sea is docked in Monte Carlo's Port of 
vieille, the low-slung, two-masted sch 
called Zaca, the infamous yacht of th 
actor Errol Flynn, who, the six-membei 
insists, still haunts the boat on whi 
slowly went insane, despite an actual 
cism by the Anglican Archdeacon of 
co in 1978. 

"We feel him here; things happen th 
just can't explain." says the captain 
dal Paz, leading me into Zaca's sa 
which has been restored by an Italian 
nessman and hung with a 1943 Pic 
Captain Bruno opens a thick scrapbd 
yellowed press clippings. In 1946, Flyn 
ter beating the charge that he had con 
ted statutory rape on his first yacht. Sii 
fled Hollywood. "Instead of killing my 
bought a new boat," he wrote in his au 
ography. My Wicked Wicked Ways. Per 
Zaca. Samoan for "peace." was cursed 
the start; at its 1930 christening, the cl 
pagne bottle failed to break on its bov 
ways a bad omen. On one of Flynn's 
voyages, Zaca sank. On another, his c 
mutinied. On what was supposed to 
"make-up" cruise, Orson Welles split f 
his wife, Rita Hayworth. After two wives' 
Flynn. the swashbuckler fell into a delir 
of booze and drugs on the boat— a des 
that included orgies, drug smuggling, a 
to Mexico to help a friend who was a f 
evade an arrest warrant, and a second r 
charge, by a woman barely of legal age 
50. Flynn was "drinking vodka for break 
and keeping a condom full of cocaine in 
swim trunks." according to a clipping 
Zaca's scrapbook. "I've squandered se 
million dollars. I'm going to have to 


MAY 20 


Flynn lamented in an interview just 

flying to Vancouver with his 17-year- 

ifnend, Beverly Aadland, to sell it for 

)00. The sale nevertook place, how- 

>ecause Flynn had a heart attack, or 

I titted suicide, just before signing the 


!;re are approximately 30,000 people 
orking on yachts. Moving from one gi- 
i ssel to another, I was amazed at how 
i active, well educated, and multi- 
J 1 the crews all were. I soon discovered 
rfor every crew member employed, 
J are hundreds waiting to join a career 
lomes with unlimited perks (I watched 
pew of Skat eating rack of lamb and 
ling Taittinger for dinner) and excellent 
ii captain's annual salary is $ 1,000 per 
foot, and crews are usually paid in 
says Dallas-based international finan- 
.onsultant George Kline, who invests 
a captain's and crew member's earn- 
Even off duty, they refuse to mention 
fie owners or yachts, because they gen- 
.' sign confidentiality agreements with 

I employers. 
)n a boat I'm not going to mention, 
ad a group of Americans out for the 
tes Film Festival," says Sebastian Fra- 
a steward. "One night they went into 
acuzzi with five women, but then the 
went to bed, leaving the women, who 
n a full-on porn show. By then we'd lift- 
ichor from the Bay of Cannes, and they 
going at it, completely oblivious that 
: were boats on both sides. The funny 
I was that the Jacuzzi wouldn't get hot 
igh, so we were boiling water and run- 
up three levels with kettles to warm it, 
: also serving them Dom Perignon. Even 
igh the women hadn't chartered the 
t, any guest that comes on board you still 
as a paying guest." 

the mid-90s, a yacht owner placed 
le of the first ads to offer charters in a 
cow newspaper, and newly rich Rus- 
> swarmed to pony up $250,000 for a 
c on the boat. "Whiskey beer!" was all 
irst Russian on board said, at eight in 
norning. "I took a step back, and he re- 
;d it three times. 'Bring whiskey beer!'" 
:mbers a steward named Gabriel, who 
nged multiple brands of whiskey and 
on a silver tray, which he presented to 
»uest, who immediately began slugging 
n a succession of boilermakers. Soon a 
1 was raging. "Six guys, 15 prostitutes— 
ivior that would send shivers down your 
e," says the steward. "Every horizontal 
ice on the boat gets some action When 
;rew's around, they generally give us a 
: . . . and keep going." 
mericans currently lead the world both 
uying and chartering yachts, but soon 

the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich 
may surpass all others. The 37-year-old fa- 
ther of five, who started life as an orphan 
and whose wife is a former Aeroflot stew- 
ardess, chartered his first yacht in 1998, ac- 
cording to Abramovich: The Billionaire from 
Nowhere, by Dominic Midgley and Chris 
Hutchins. He then quickly began snap- 
ping up super-yachts as capriciously as he'd 
bought oil rights in Russia and the Chel- 
sea Football Club. First he paid an esti- 
mated $25 million for Sussurro, a 161-foot 
gas-turbine Feadship, a product of the 
famed Dutch shipyard. Next he paid be- 
tween $80 and $100 million for the 370- 
foot Le Grand Bleu, previously owned by 
cellular-telephone king John McCaw. The 
largest American-owned private boat when 
it was launched in 2000 and now No. 6 
in the world, it's complete with an Austin 
Powers-style bottom-level viewing port, 
around which guests sit to watch the sea 
life, which Abramovich summons by shoot- 
ing out food via remote control. After that 
he bought the 377-foot Pelorus, the world's 
fifth-largest, from Saudi billionaire Al Sheik 
Modhassan. Then, last summer, he took pos- 
session of his new, 282-foot, $100 million 
Feadship, which he christened Ecstasea, and 
went with his full fleet of four yachts to Por- 
tugal. "He always comes on with his family. 
They don't drink, they don't smoke, they eat 
healthy, they work out," says a source who 
has been on the boats. Another source adds, 
"He likes to have breakfast on one yacht, 
lunch on another, dinner on the third, and, 
of course, he's got a different set of chefs on 
each yacht." 

PDiddy Combs is another celebrity who 
» has thrust himself into yacht culture. In 
the summer of 2002, after yacht-hopping for 
years on St. Barth's, he decided to charter a 
boat. He settled upon the 170-foot Samax, 
whose former owner had named the boat 
Tits and the tenders Nipple I and Nipple II. 
P. Diddy took Samax to his favorite spot 
on the French Riviera, Saint-Tropez. "He spent 
$25,000 on clothes," remembers Fonzworth 
Bentley, Combs's former assistant. 

Immediately, tabloid headlines blazed 
with allegations of all manner of misadven- 
tures and mayhem at sea. The reality, says 
Bentley, consists mostly of cannonball com- 
petitions off the top deck, endless games 
of spades, round-the-clock apple pie a la 
mode, and constant surveillance by local 
authorities. "Two years ago, Puff got a speed- 
ing ticket on the WaveRunner off of Saint- 
Tropez," says Bentley. "The thing is, Puff 
didn't actually do it. Someone else from the 
group got the ticket. But he was on Puff's 
boat and he was black, so it was just Puff. 
The reality is we're still black. I don't care 
if you've got a yacht and you're in Saint- 
Tropez. The police is watching." 

Still, Bentley admits, life on a Diddy- 
chartered boat is a 24-hour party. 

"This man was on Broadway!" he ex- 
claims, referring to P. Diddy's run in the 
2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun. "If I 
was on Broadway as long as he was, on the 
last day either I would have ran through 
Times Square butt-naked screaming or got 
a phat yacht and went crazy overseas. So he 
chose the latter." 

But, he adds, the super-yacht world is 
equally insane. "You hear about how black 
people like to flaunt their wealth? But the 
level of flaunting of the wealth on a yacht is 
far more ridiculous." Bentley and P. Diddy 
call it flossing. Bentley explains: "You stay- 
ing on a yacht? O.K., how big is your yacht? 
It's not only the size of the yacht, it's also 
the width. Then it's: How good is your dock 
space? Then it's: How many times does your 
crew change from daytime to evening? Then 
it goes to: What kind of wood is your din- 
ner table made out of? Ours is padauk wood 
from India ..." 

6A7~ou see the planes? I organized!" says 
A Formula One racing king Flavio Bria- 
tore on his spectacular yacht in the Bay of 
Volpe as a squadron of jets does crazy loops 
overhead. The air show is impressive (it was 
actually organized by the state), but the show 
is just as good on Briatore's new yacht, the 
Lady in Blue, with its stunning Alberto Pinto 
interiors, Fernando Botero paintings, Cesar 
sculptures, and a lunch table crowded with 
beauties in bikinis. Last night, at the opening 
of his Billionaire Club in Porto Cervo, where 
the jewelry shops stay open past midnight, 
Flavio was surrounded by gorgeous young 
women. The paparazzi screamed, "Flavio! 
Flavio!," and his club's video screens flashed 
endless photos of him: Flavio holding up the 
trophy he and his Renault Formula One 
team had won at last year's Monaco Grand 
Prix; Flavio with his harem of famous wom- 
en, which has included Naomi Campbell, 
Elle Macpherson, and the mother of his baby 
daughter, Heidi Klum; Flavio in close-up, 
climbing out of a swimming pool. 

"Why do women love yachts?," I ask 
Flavio, who is sitting in the saloon wearing a 
sarong. Before he can answer, Naomi Camp- 
bell, who's staying on the Lady in Blue, ex- 
plains. "I can't imagine a woman who would 
say, 'I don't love a boat, I don't love a private 
plane.' I mean, when I met Flavio, I didn't 
know what he did, who he was. But I think 
the yacht's part of his whole mystique, his 
appeal. It's a whole package." 

Once lovers, they are now friends. After 
their first date, a dinner in Athens, where 
Naomi was on a modeling assignment, Fla- 
vio flew her to the shipyard in Genoa and 
showed her his yacht, the first Lady in Blue, 
which was being refitted. When the work 
was completed, he gave Naomi the ultimate 

2 5 VANITY FAIR 257 


gift: his yacht on her birthday. Last year 
marked the fifth such birthday party, off Saint- 
Tropez, with a performance by Cirque du 
Soleil, fireworks, and 400 guests, including 
U2's Bono. "That's the old Lady in Blue." 
says Flavio, motioning out into the bay, 
which is littered with super-yachts, from Afeiv 
Sunrise, the mammoth vessel of the Israeli 
businessman Sami Ofer, to Kisses, the fabu- 
lous Art Deco-filled Feadship of former 
Philadelphia Eagles owners Norman and 
Irma Braman. The original Lady is now 
called Sirahmy and is owned by the head of 

"It was very sexy," Flavio says of his for- 
mer yacht. But the new one, three years in 
development, is even sexier— "the top boat, 
technically, at this moment," he says proudly. 

(A scant three months after taking deliv- 
ery, Flavio sold his new Lady in Blue to 
Miami developer Jeffrey Softer. "The yacht 
wasn't for sale, but Flavio said, 'Everything's 
available at the right price,'" says Soffer's 
father and business partner, Don Softer. The 
boat was sold fully furnished, but Flavio in- 
sisted on keeping several major pieces of art, 
as well as his captain, Luigi del Tevere, who 
had previously captained the yachts of Ad- 
nan Khashoggi, the Sultan of Brunei, the 
Swarovski-crystal family, and Mohamed Al 
Fayed. "Mr. Briatore already has a bigger 
boat, which he is calling Force Blue, " says 
Captain del Tevere.) 

6 XT*' or me, everything comes from the sea, 
1. and a boat is a kind of laboratory, a 
quarry," the architect Renzo Piano says on 
his yacht, Kirribilli. Based in his hometown 
of Genoa, the birthplace of Columbus, Piano 
has spent his career transferring his yacht 
designs to his architectural projects. The ferro- 
cement he developed for his yacht is now on 
the roof of the Menil Collection art museum 
he designed in Houston. The idea of a "ship 
like Jules Verne would design in the middle 
of the sea" established the overall theme 
of Paris's Pompidou Center, which he co- 
designed. The carbon-fiber antennae on Kir- 
ribilli will soon appear in a gigantic steel 
replica atop the new New York Times Build- 
ing on Eighth Avenue. 

Just as Piano applies his yacht designs 
to his architectural projects, some of the 
world's most famous designers transfer their 
fashion showmanship to oceangoing vessels. 
Diego Delia Valle, the Milan-based fashion 
magnate and owner of Tod's, sitting in his 
all-mahogany Marlin, formerly John F. Ken- 
nedy's motor yacht, whose auction Delia 
Valle heard about through a Christie's news- 
paper ad, says, "I went to see it, and after 
10 minutes I made my offer. That same day, 
Ralph Lauren invited me to lunch at his 

house. His phone rang, and Ralph answered 
and passed the phone to me, saying, 'Diego, 
you have bought a boat!' After renovation, 
the Marlin began to cruise the Mediter- 
ranean, still holding the American presi- 
dential flag." 

Clothing designer Roberto Cavalli is an- 
other boat-lover. Of his new, 132-foot yacht, 
RC Roberto Cavalli Freedom, he says, "So 
special! So unusual! So Cavalli!" The motor 
yacht's iridescent exterior changes colors, 
from papal purple to emerald green, "taking 
the reflection from the water down and the 
sun up," Cavalli explains. There are leather- 
covered floors, python armchairs, lacquered 
goatskin walls, a profusion of animal horn, 
and Cavalli's signature leopard-print and 
purple bedspreads with white mink throws. 
"The most important thing about the yacht 
is the color, like my clothes, and to be spe- 
cial, like my clothes!" he says, then whispers 
conspiratorially, "And it's a little bit sexy, 
too, like my clothes." 

"My mother was a very elegant woman, 
and I think my boat has that same sort of 
elegance," says Giorgio Armani, sitting on 
his super-yacht, Mariu, named for a song his 
mother sang to him as a child. The boat's 
hull is the silver of Armani's hair, and its in- 
terior is an homage to Armani's world, from 
the 16-member all-male crew decked out in 
Emporio Armani to stem-to-stern Armani 
Casa furnishings. 

Probably the most ferocious design force 
to hit the yacht world is Philippe Starck. 
We are sailing on Virtuelle, the silver sailing 
yacht Starck designed for Carlo Perrone, 
the Genoa-based businessman and great- 
grandson of the 19th-century arts patron 
Marie-Laure de Noailles, whose Paris man- 
sion now houses the Baccarat Gallery- 
Museum. "One day I was in my office in 
Paris, and a very elegant woman arrived, 
who said, 'Can you design me a yacht of 
something like 80 meters [250 feet]?,'" Starck 
remembers. He didn't know the woman, 
but he knew he would never design a mega- 
yacht. He had followed the escalating gran- 
diosity of these vessels with outrage, even 
lambasted the refrigerator-white gin palaces 
so vehemently in speeches at yacht-society 
meetings that people left the room. "I'm 
sorry." he told the woman. "I love boats. I 
have seven boats of my own. But I shall not 
design for you a big powerboat." 

She asked why, and he let rip. "Vulgari- 
ty!" he said. "All of these big boats are just 
purely vulgar! People build and buy these 
boats to show the money they have, the 
power they have! For me, it's social pollu- 
tion! For me these boats are . . . gold shit!" 

Starck had unleashed his fury on Hala 
Fares, wife of the Lebanese deputy prime 
minister Issam Fares and one of the world's 
most stylish women, famous for her taste, ev- 

ident in her clothes and the interior 
homes and the family's 727 jet. 

"She did not speak for one minut 
Starck. "Finally she said, 'If I challer 
to make a yacht elegant, what woi 
do?* So I was trapped!" 

For five years, Fares, Starck, anc 
ship collaborated on the Wedge Too. 
all of her design projects, Fares bi 
yacht without any hindrance from h\ 
band, who would not even see it until 
completed, during the 2002 Christm; 
days in Monaco. "We invited our pn| 
and First Lady for Christmas, and 
God, my heart was beating," Fares rJ 
bers. But the moment her husband sj 
yacht's two-level superstructure of oile 
panels and stepped onto the 7,530 sqi 
of hardwood flooring, covered with St| 
outrageous yet handsome furnishing 
interior design, he smiled. "This is gret 
said, and the 20-member crew broke o 
champagne. The next year Wedge To\ 
the ShowBoats International award f< 
most innovative motor yacht. 

Although he still despises conven 
super-yachts, Starck has nonetheless j 
the yacht race. He's now designing 
most advanced, the most modern be 
the world," a 300-plus-foot mega-vessel vj 
plans look like Titanic meets 2001: A 
Odyssey. The client? "A young Russia 
nius of mathematics, a Russian Bill G\ 
says Starck. "[Aesthetically] we are dj 
in love." 

4lV7"e had Gregory Peck, Frank] 
W Barbara Sinatra, Michael C.J 
Harry Belafonte. Sean Connery, Julio j 
sias, Roger Moore, Hubert Givenchy, 
King, Anna Magnani, Adnan Khashi 
Gina Lollobrigida, Rex Harrison, Don i 
itt and his wife, Marilyn, who were i 
ried on the boat— on and on and on." 
Simone Levitt. From 1972 to 1982, there 
no more coveted invitation than a la\ 
all-expenses-paid, two-week vacation or 
Belle Simone, the 250-foot "floating Taj 
hal" of William J. Levitt, the develope 
the post-World War II housing proj 
called Levittowns, and his beautiful Fre 
wife, Simone. "It was a fairy tale." say; 
mone Levitt of her life on a yacht so big 
it ignited a feud between her husband 
Revlon founder Charles Revson, whose 
ma II was 15 feet shorter, and so grand 
it was used as the Christina— instead of 
actual Christina— in the 1976 movie ab 
Onassis called The Greek Tycoon. 

Then, just like that, the yacht was gc 
sold to Saudi Arabia's former OPEC mi 
ter Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, along w 
every last penny and possession. Before 
Levin died, in 1994, at the Levitt Pavilion 
New York University's North Shore Unive 
ty Hospital, which he'd underwritten, he 


VANITY FAIR www.vanilyfoir.coni 

MAY 20 

something he'd long before told his 
(A yacht is a furnace that just burns 

^ pgs got so tough that Simone Levitt 
duced to serving as a hostess on a 
ship. Today super-yacht life for her 

•• iced to framed photographs on her 
om wall. "We were good schnooks, 

■ isband and I," she says. "Oh, my 
they drank our champagne and ate 

L iviar. He played the piano and I 

1 'When I had the boat, everybody is 
I your you-know-what. But after my 
nd died, people aren't rushing to 

I continues: "Do you realize what I 

give now to have the money that we 

on the champagne, the caviar, the 

:he crew, the oil, the gasoline? It cost a 

(n a year. My God, I could live like a 
today. We just gave and gave, and 
imes, when we went onshore, they had 
kdacity not to pay for dinner. Once in a 
moon, yes, but most of the time my 
nd put his hand in his pocket." 
'e insists that she's not bitter. "I had a 
in approach me at a party and say, 
my dear, it must be terrible to have 

been all the way on top and fall all the way 
down.' I said, 'If someone told you that for 
10 years you could have anything in the 
world— a yacht, a Rolls-Royce, sables, minks, 
diamonds, emeralds, sapphires— but at the 
end of the 10 years you would have to give it 
back, would you not do it?' She said she'd 
rather not have it at all. But now my memo- 
ries are my wealth, and no one can take 
them away from me." She adds, "Everything 
ends, nothing is forever. A yacht is a fantasy, 
and whoever believes it's going to be there 
forever is going to be hurt." 

Tonight I'm dressed as a Renaissance fop 
in one of the costumes flown in from 
London for a bash on the 180-foot super- 
yacht Amnesia, on which I've sailed from 
Naples to Capri to Sardinia. Across the rose- 
petal-strewn dinner table sit my host, Darnel 
Snyder, the 40-year-old owner of the Wash- 
ington Redskins, who has chartered the 
boat for two weeks, and his wife, Tanya, 
dressed as Romeo and Juliet. Next to them, 
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his 
wife, Gene, are costumed as Sir Lancelot 
and Guinevere, and nearby are original CNN 
anchorman Bernie Shaw and his wife, Linda, 

dressed as Henry VIII and one of his wives. 
In a few hours former superagent Michael 
Ovitz and his wife, Judy, whose yacht, Illu- 
sion, is moored nearby, will join the party. 
Docked between Ultima III, owned by Rev- 
Ion's Ronald Perelman, and Te Manu, owned 
by Mel Simon, co-owner of the Indiana 
Pacers, we're having a feast. Our crew, whom 
we've come to love like family, are also in 
Renaissance apparel, and the chef has cooked 
a suckling pig. 

I'm so up, enjoying all this opulence, that 
I halfway believe I belong, until a stewardess, 
dressed as a serving wench, whispers in my 
ear, "And what time will you be departing 
in the morning, sir?" When I return to my 
stateroom, my old suitcase has been placed 
beside the bed. 

The next morning a new group of guests 
arrive, and I hear the crew laughing at their 
jokes, as they recently did at mine, and 
pouring them champagne. As a crew mem- 
ber holds out his hand to help me onto the 
tender that will deposit me back on dry 
land, I hesitate, longing to hang on to Amne- 
sia like a suckfish on a whale, but for me the 
party's over. On 6,000 super-yachts around 
the world, however, the party never ends. □ 

ivid Robinson 

inued from page 226 Jack, died of 
ria at age six. Plus there is an extensive 
i>rk of in-laws working on the farm. 
53, Robinson is tall and powerful. A 
, woolly beard creeps from below the col- 
f his khaki shirt to his cheekbones. His 
t eyes are clearly inherited from his fa- 
as are the large hands with a slight crook 
I middle finger. Robinson has a habit of 
ing them over his head when deep in 
ght. He is a serious man (he's reluctant 
die for photographs, saying, "I don't want 
/e the impression that I take the work 
loing with any amount of frivolity"), but 
sometimes flash the dry wit and crooked- 
ed grin that his mother and sister remem- 
larking the funniest member of the Rob- 
i clan. He looks every inch the African 
•—a vaunted role he clearly relishes. 
)binson first came to Africa at 14, on a 
vith his mother, and was entranced. "It 
't any kind of major political analysis," 
ys. "But subconsciously there had to be 
at being on a black continent and see- 
lat many black people." Rachel remem- 
her son learning the ropes at a market 
ddis Ababa. "The jewelry stalls were 
)y young boys and you're supposed to 
lin," she says. "Every day, he would go 
here and get better at it. On the last 
they all came out and congratulated 
like a brother." 

The lessons stuck. When I visit Robinson, 
he takes me to Dar es Salaam's central 
fish market, where he once operated a fishing 
boat. We are immediately surrounded by ven- 
dors calling him by name, and the pack goes 
ranging back and forth past stalls caked with 
scales and fish viscera. When Robinson finds 
a suitable specimen for a dinner party that 
night, it's the starting gun for 20 minutes of 
negotiation. He calmly holds his ground in 
fluent Swahili. At one point he turns to the 
most persistent haggler— a short man wearing 
a blue ski cap despite the equatorial heat— 
and gathers him in a sidelong bear hug at 
once threatening and affectionate. Shortly 
afterward, the deal is done. Robinson, it's 
clear, is a formidable businessman. 

The few other African-Americans living 
in Dar es Salaam think Robinson is a bit 
nuts for living the way he does on his farm. 
At dinner, Clark Arlington regales the small 
group of guests with a description of the epic 
trip needed to get to Sweet Unity Farms. Ar- 
lington, who is from Philadelphia and wears 
a mustache and black, thick-rimmed glasses, 
was a founding board member of Equal Ex- 
change, one of the first fair-trade coffee com- 
panies in America. The fair-trade movement 
was started in the 1980s by Dutch liberals 
aiming to promote equitable and developmen- 
tal agriculture in the Third World by appeal- 
ing to Western consciences. As Arlington puts 
it, "Some cats in Holland thought, Damn, 
we fucked over some motherfuckers. How 
can we, as a society, begin to rectify that?" 

Arlington currently works as the repre- 
sentative to Tanzania of the U.S. govern- 
ment's African Development Foundation 
(A.D.F) and recently helped secure a 
$210,000 loan for the farmers' collective. 
Still, having been to Robinson's farm once, 
he has zero interest in a return visit. 

"It's not just country," he says, shaking 
his head. "It's bush." 

Truth be told, many native Tanzanians 
think Robinson's a bit nuts, too. Another 
dinner guest, a young lawyer working with 
the Rwandan-genocide tribunal in Arusha, 
is driven to ever heightening fits of hilarity 
as Arlington describes the journey. Convinc- 
ing Africans, many of whom have struggled 
mightily to get off the farm and to Dar, to 
return and take up the plow is one of Robin- 
son's biggest challenges. 

Indeed, it's less than 100 percent encour- 
aging when Robinson assures visitors that 
there's been only one lion (the flesh-and- 
blood kind) spotted near the farm in recent 
memory, and that there are fewer and fewer 
cobras every year. But Robinson believes 
strongly in Pan-Africanism, which posits 
that the best way to address the problems 
of both Africans and the African diaspora 
is to build cultural and especially economic 
ties between the two groups. And he's com- 
mitted to assimilating almost entirely into 
African culture. 

"There's this bridge into Zimbabwe from 
Zambia," he says. "And the bridge is embed- 

2 5 V A N I T Y FAIR 259 

Dawl Robinson 

ded in this rock; the support buttresses are 
so far in that rock that you don't see them. 
That's the part of the span that I want to 
function as. The part that's deeply ingrained 
and embedded in African society." 

Nowhere is this commitment more strik- 
ing than in his traditional, arranged marriage 
to Ruti. In 1990, having been in Tanzania 
for eight years, Robinson decided it was time 
to remarry. He found a family to adopt him 
into the Wanyamwezi tribe and went calling 
on families with daughters of marrying age. 
When he came to Ruti's he was presented 
from afar with the family's three girls. Thtir 
brothers sat Robinson down and asked 
which he wanted to marry. "It didn't seem 
like an 'I'll get back to you later' situation." 
Robinson says. "All I could think of to ask 
was which was the youngest— because I didn't 
want the youngest. And the oldest was the 
shortest, so I chose the middle one." 

The Robinsons seem by all measures to 
have built a loving and respectful relation- 
ship, and Robinson has declined to take fur- 
ther wives, unusual for a man of his stature. 
But there's no denying that it's a very un- 
Stamford arrangement. 

"I tried to talk him out of it," says Rachel 
Robinson, who has since developed a warm 
relationship with Ruti. "I couldn't believe he 
was going to do that. And yet. he's David. 
That's what we say about everything he does: 
he's David, and if he says he's going to do it. 
he really means it." 

On the endless bus ride from Dar es Sa- 
laam to Mbeya, with Nigerian romantic 
comedies blaring from the video monitor 
and his long legs folded into the too small 
seat, Robinson sits stoically. He makes the 
trip about once a month and will spend the 
entire harvest season in Mbozi. This time, 
he's traveling with a worn canvas-and-leather 
bag, a pair of beat-up desert boots, and a 
U.S. Postal Service sack filled with small so- 
lar panels. Bringing cheap solar energy- to the 
village is one of the ways in which branding 
and selling coffee in the U.S. improves the 
lives of the members of his cooperative— along 
with setting up a system of farm credits, 
building a school, establishing a pharmacy, 
founding a multi-media entertainment-and- 
education center, and bringing in pure water. 
All of these initiatives require shockingly 
small amounts of money (reliable light after 
the sun goes down, effectively a thousand- 
year technological leap forward, can be had 
for the price of a S95 solar kit), but money is 
a constant problem. Although Robinson has 
not sought official Fairtrade certification (it's 
a way of "draining off" the sympathy of liber- 
al buyers, he says) and prefers the term "di- 
rect trade," the concepts are much the same. 

Both are essentially exercises in public rela- 
tions. It's the "story"— of sustainable agricul- 
ture, decent labor practices, and, in Robin- 
son's case, a unique family heritage— that 
adds value to the product. (Though Sweet 
Unity's sales materials include references 
to the "tradition of Jackie Robinson." David 
refuses to use his father's image on the 
coffee's packaging: "This isn't going to be 
'Grinning Jack's Coffee," " he says.) 

Telling the story— to gourmet buyers, 
"green" investors, and socially conscious 
businesses— requires a dedicated sales-and- 
marketing force in the States. When he start- 
ed Sweet Unity Farms, Robinson had a U.S. 
partner to handle this end of the business. 
But the partner went bankrupt, and for the 
past 10 years, except for one or two associ- 
ates working on a volunteer basis, the job 
has been his. 

At the same time, just as it wasn't enough 
for Jackie Robinson to simply be the first 
black major-leaguer— he also had to be a 
fantastic ballplayer— Sweet Unity Farms cof- 
fee has to be competitive in both quality 
and price. 

"Everybody's got a conscience," Robin- 
son says. "But they also have calculators." 

Constant vigilance and ready cash are 
important here, too: to make sure the crop 
is harvested at its peak, to provide credit for 
fertilizer and machinery, and to hold off the 
influence of multi-national buyers, who are 
none too happy about what the success of 
Sweet Unity Farms would portend. Thanks 
to trade liberalization, those buyers (and. by 
extension, the retail coffee powerhouses) are 
now allowed to come directly into the village, 
lowballing struggling farmers with the prom- 
ise of quick payment. 

To keep pace, Robinson crisscrosses the 
globe, pitching C.E.O.'s in gleaming, air- 
conditioned American offices, and then 
dashing home to repair hand-cranked pulp- 
ing machines. 

Things aren't all grim: Robinson has made 
inroads with Cendant, a travel-and-real- 
estate giant that controls millions of cups 
of coffee drunk by Americans each day. 
On the gourmet side, his coffee is available 
at Union Square Cafe and at Fairway mar- 
kets, in New York, and through the Sweet 
Unity Farms Web site. He has been seeking 
investors for a sales infrastructure in the 
States, and the A.D.F loan would help re- 
lieve the pressure in Mbozi. But Robinson 
is a man all too familiar with how bureauc- 
racies work. And. like farmers all over the 
world, he knows the coming harvest never 
waits for checks to clear. 

After New Canaan Country School, 
Robinson left home to attend boarding 
school at the Northfield and Mount Her- 
mon Schools, in western Massachusetts. 
There was unrest in the Robinson house- 

hold. Jackie junior had volunteered 
in Vietnam and returned home wit 
diction to heroin. In 1968 he was 
for gun and drug possession and 
into rehab. 

Away at school, David found 1 
among black classmates for the first 
was the late 60s, and in keeping w 
era. he joined the black student unic 
ilar movements were sweeping the 
as Martin Luther King Jr.'s integr 
philosophy began to give way to th 
militant, identity-based politics of M 
X and the Black Panthers, making 
interesting dynamic within the Ro 

After baseball, Jackie had increa 
role in politics, vocally supportin 
and the N.A.A.C.R through his ne 1 
columns in the (then liberal) A<?»r Yo 
and The New York Amsterdam Ne 
kept up an exhaustive schedule of 
raising appearances around the c 
and he and Rachel instituted an 
jazz concert on the family's front 1 
raise money for civil-rights causes, 
the feverish light of the 60s cou 
ex-ballplayer have been considere 

And yet Jackie was firmly a Repu 
He had supported Nixon in 1960 (a d 
he later regretted) and worked for 
A. Rockefeller's gubernatorial and pn 
tial campaigns, even getting a summer 
the New York governor's office for D. 
the last time, says the younger Robinsoi 
he owned a suit. 

In 1949, Jackie had been summoni 
fore the House Un-American Activities 
mittee and become caught up in a p 
dispute with Paul Robeson over wh 
blacks should serve in the U.S. mil 
Now he engaged in a similar debate 
Malcolm X. After Robinson upbr* 
Malcolm in his column, Malcolm wro 
open letter to Robinson that read, in 
"You became a great baseball playt 
ter your white boss lifted you to the n 
leagues. You proved that your white 
had chosen the 'right' Negro by 
ing much money through the gates and 

the pockets of your white boss You 

er take an interest in anything in the N 
community until the white man himself 
an interest in it." David Robinson says 
nobody ever used the term to his face 
Sharon remembers hearing people desc 
her father as an "Uncle Tom." 

Though it never soured their regarc 
their father, Jackie's children clearly 
attracted to the more militant wing ot 
movement. In her book, Sharon writes 
the most furious her father ever got at 
was when she placed a poster of B 
Panthers founder Huey P. Newton over 
bed. It was quickly taken down. 


260 ! VANITY F A I R I www vonityfoir con 

M AY 2 

^dipe also had little interest in Africa or 
»lling on the legacy of slavery. "Jack 
I probably say, 'All right. We came 
ives. Get over it. Move on,'" says 
\l. "David's answer is 'I can't get over 
i believes that some part of him has 
i iamaged by slavery and that he won't 
ok until he can rejoin that part of 

x he moved through Mount Hermon 
in to Stanford University, David be- 
lt more and more political— influenced 
yj-t by the writings of Julius Nyerere, 
:; nia's intellectual socialist leader. He 
IHibes his year at Stanford as consist- 
"playing poker, smoking reefer, and 
I ing rocks [during demonstrations]. 
iil knew that wasn't positive education- 
is relopment." 

Hat summer, Jackie junior was killed in 
1 accident while driving David's 1969 
! Midget. With his mother and father 
cfltated, it was David who went to iden- 
Jhe body. "His strength was magnifi- 
■Y Jackie wrote in his autobiography, / 
\r Had It Made. Several months later, 

d took the insurance money from the 

nd went back to Africa. 

n open-bed truck filled with sacks of 
grain passes the Dar es Salaam-Mbeya 
as it rolls through a stretch of game 
:rve, past stout baobab trees and graz- 
lephants. "That," says Robinson wist- 
"is the finest ride in all of Africa. You're 
igh, looking out and just rolling through 

/hen Robinson returned to Africa he 
: hitching across the eastern half of the 
inent. He spent a month in Dar es Sa- 
I which, at the height of the Pan-African 
ement, was home to a large number 
^patriate African-Americans drawn by 
rere's progressive politics. These in- 
ed Black Panthers Pete O'Neal and 
:r "Geronimo" Pratt, fleeing gun charges 
le States. On the way to Greece to pick 
noney Jackie and Rachel had wired, 
inson arrived broke and shoeless in 
rtoum (he can't fathom what may have 
jened to his shoes). Someone saw him 
ping down the hot, dusty streets and 
: up a collection to get him sandals, 
:s, and food. "They carried me all the 
to Athens," he says, still amazed. 
Iter nine months, Robinson found 
>elf in a traveler's hut in Kenya. Some- 
had left a copy of Newsweek there and 
inson picked it up. On the cover was 
s of the Attica prison riots. "It was the 
ization that my brother could have 
i in Attica— that my brothers were in 
ca— that had me thinking I had not 
Ived my life or work or issues in Amer- 
That had me thinking, It's time to get 
: home." 

It was 10 years before Robinson returned 
to Tanzania. Back home, Jackie's health 
was deteriorating— the result of advancing 
diabetes and, perhaps, a lifetime of stress. 
David worked for his father as a driver, and 
then as a writer and photographer for a 
film company. On October 24, 1972, Jackie 
Robinson died at the age of 53. The funeral 
in Harlem was packed with 2,500 people, 
and mourners lined the route of the blocks- 
long motorcade to Cypress Hills National 
Cemetery, in Brooklyn. 

David got married. He adopted his wife's 
two children, and the couple had another 
daughter of their own. The family moved 
to 136th Street in Harlem and, with two 
partners, David co-founded an alternative- 
housing company, United Harlem Growth, 
dedicated to reclaiming the neighborhood. 

But David had also returned from Afri- 
ca in a state of turmoil. "There was a defi- 
nite difference in him. You could see the 
anger and frustration," says Sharon Rob- 
inson. "He was with a group of men that 
was really angry, and I was always wor- 
ried that it would erupt in a negative way." 
David's daughter Susan's classmates called 
him G.I. Joe for the army fatigues he al- 
ways wore. He fought frequently, both with 
members of the Harlem community and 
with the police. 

After a childhood spent compromising 
with white culture, Robinson says, "I wasn't 
so much in a 'bend' mode. And a black 
male in America really has to be in a bend 
mode or plan to go to jail or the grave- 

Above all, the decade in Harlem was a 
lesson in lost opportunities. "We could have 
acquired 80 percent of Harlem at the rate 
of $500 a brownstone," he says. "But we 
weren't psychologically prepared. We were 
hard-core, but we were too hard-core." With 
Africa constantly on his mind, he swore not 
to let the continent's vast resources slip 
away as easily. In 1982, amid divorce pro- 
ceedings, Robinson made plans to go to 
Tanzania again, this time for good. 

It's hard to ignore the apparent irony that 
the son of one of America's greatest icons 
of integration has found it more fulfilling to 
five as a black man outside of the United 
States, but Robinson takes exception to that 

"Yes, there's a degree of intolerance in 
American society that creates some natural 
factors for wanting to say good-bye," he 
says. "We've been abused. 

"But Jackie Robinson's objective was 
not to integrate America. Jackie Robin- 
son's objective was to create black prog- 
ress and pride. My grandmother got on a 
train, leaving Cairo, Georgia, in 1924, and 
I think it took her longer to get to Califor- 
nia than it takes me to get to Tanzania. 

And it was the same journey— looking for 

"There was a time when the resources 
available to us were moving up from the 
South. My father saw an opportunity in 
baseball and went for it. Coffee is a medi- 
um like baseball was a medium. This is 
completely linear progress." 

4 A coffee-plantation is a thing that gets 
_/l_hold of you and does not let you 
go," wrote Isak Dinesen, in Out of Africa. 
The living quarters at Sweet Unity Farms- 
four low mud structures arranged around 
a packed-dirt courtyard— overlook rolling 
green hills lined with trees. In a corner of 
the compound lies the tidy grave of David 
and Ruti's son Jack. You can almost see 
relief wash over Robinson as he breathes 
deeply and we climb the final hill to his 

Dinesen also wrote, "Coffee growing is 
a long job." Robinson first arrived in Mbozi 
in 1989, after years spent in Dar es Salaam 
selling everything from fish to refrigerators 
to Ethiopian jewelry. He requested land 
from the village council in exchange for his 
help in bringing in a better price for the lo- 
cal coffee. Just to see the 280 forested acres 
they offered, he had to climb the highest 
nearby tree. "I think the village odds on our 
sticking out the first year were like 1.000 
to 1," he says. 

Robinson and his eldest son. Howard, 
spent two years clearing the area by hand 
and ox, then four years waiting for the 
first plantings to sprout. The first beans 
appeared in 1994. The next year, men with 
machetes and trucks pulled up to the local 
warehouse and stole half of the crop. Now 
Robinson and his partners spend the har- 
vest season patrolling with shotguns and 

Under the farmhouse's lone lightbulb, we 
sit down for a spare meal of ugali (stiff corn 
porridge) and stewed peanut greens. Though 
he's just arrived, Robinson's thoughts are 
already a hemisphere away. At our stop in 
Mlowo, he had pointed to a pair of gleam- 
ing, brand-new Land Rovers in the midst of 
all the broken-down and cobbled-together 
local vehicles. "The big boys are in town," 
he said, referring to the multi-nationals. 
He's looking ahead to a series of meetings 
in New York with venture capitalists who 
specialize in matching entrepreneurs with 
socially conscious investors. To make it 
through the harvest and serve his current 
customers. Robinson figures he'll need a 
half-million dollars, and fast. 

"We're talking about human develop- 
ment, quality products, progressive trade, 
fairer distribution," he says, and then trails 
off. "This is it for me. I know I've said I'm 
at the end of my rope before and then 
always found more rope, but the mix is 

2 5 VANITY FAIR 261 

David Robinson 

so good here that if I blow it I have to go 
to God and ask what sins I've committed. 
I mean, do I have bad breath?" 

Three weeks later, back in Manhattan. 
Robinson sits over sushi in a Midtown 
restaurant and says the outlook is guard- 
edly sunny. The first installment of the 
A.D.F. loan has reached Tanzania and is 
being put to use buying fertilizer. On the 

negative side, the meetings about raising 
money in the States have produced little 

But. once again, Robinson has found an- 
other bit of rope. On April 13 of this year, 58 
seasons after Jackie made his first appear- 
ance in Dodgers blue, the Robinson family 
name returns to Major League Baseball— this 
time on the beverage menu at Dodger Stadi- 
um, one of five ballparks that will serve Sweet 
Unity Farms coffee this season 

Last year, Rachel Robinson called her 
son on his birthday. "Happy 53rd," she said. 

"Mom. I'm 54," David replied. "' 
Rachel. "You're 53." And so Davie 
son was granted an extra year. 

Robinson told me this story wr 
ing through rows of trees, their thin 
es beginning to sag under the we 
bright-red berries destined to end thl 
as a bridge to the other side of the v i 
always thought it was funny that my [ 
team's motto was "Wait till next 
Robinson said. "And that's always b | 
reality of my life. Well, I'm 53 again, f 
next year is finally here 

Petra \emcova 

continued from page : : i to the air. but 
the garbage was so thick it didn't let me 
go. I started swallowing water, and in that 
moment it was peaceful. I stopped fight- 
ing. I let it go. I thought, This is it. Then the 
garbage released me. so I was able to come 
up and I could breathe again. I never was 
so happy to see blue sky." 

But her shattered body was rapidly be- 
ing dragged out to sea. "It was a very strong 
and fast current that was taking me some- 
where. I didn't know where." Nemcova says. 
"My pelvis was broken, but I was very fo- 
cused to see what I could do. I saw people 
grabbing onto a palm tree, so I grabbed a 
branch and I held on." 

As other trees toppled, however, Nem- 
cova found herself trapped by a thicket of 
branches. "I couldn't see, and nobody could 
see me," she says. "There was such a power 
of water, you can't fight it— such a strong 
pushing. Every current was bringing differ- 
ent garbage. I was trying to stay awake and 
don't faint, but I think I probably fainted 
two times." 

All she could do was listen to the terrible 
sounds around her. "I just heard children 
screaming for help, people screaming of 
pain. But after a while they didn't scream 
anymore," she says quietly. "You felt so 
hopeless. You couldn't do anything." 

The tsunami had hit Khao Lak at around 
10 a.m.. and Nemcova clung to the tree 
for the next eight hours. "I didn't know how 
big was the disaster. I knew there were other 
people hanging on to trees, injured, but I 
couldn't see them," she says. "I was think- 
ing of all the people and sending energy and 
praying for them, because in that moment it 
was all I could do. Finally we started to hear 
people coming, saying hello. I was calling out. 
and two Thai men came, and they saw me." 
What they saw was a naked Amazon ma- 
rooned at the top of a palm tree. "I didn't 
have anything on me; the water take every- 
thing." says Nemcova. whose bathing suit had 

been ripped off by the raging torrent. "They 
tried to cover me, but that was the last thing 
you think about. The man asked if I can 
catch his neck so he can carry me on his 
back, but the pain was so strong I couldn't 
move. He brought me some juice, and then 
they went away. I didn't know if they were 
going to come back. I was thinking, if night 
would come, what was I going to do? The 
water would be too cold. But after a while 
one of the men came again with a few Thai 
people and a few Swedish people. All of 
them were risking their lives— they could be 
swept away; something could fall on them. 
But everyone forget themselves for others. It 
was so amazing to see all these people doing 
incredible things. It was so beautiful." 

Even with rescuers at hand, however, Nem- 
cova's injuries made transport a formidable 
challenge. "The pain was just unbearable." 
she says. She had been pulled a long way 
from the hotel, so they eventually dragged 
her back through the water on a raft and 
then carried her to a car on a broken door. 
"When they were carrying me, I saw the 
sunset— such a bloody sunset," she says. "I 
never seen such a red sun." 

When she arrived at the hospital, it was 
"like a war zone— so many injured people." 
Nemcova says. "There were no beds. They 
just had to put us down on the floor next 
to each other. People were screaming from 
horrible pain." 

As we talk, Nemcova has been fingering 
her necklace, a chain of carved ivory and 
black wooden beads with a silver pendant 
encasing a small Buddha. "I was in the hos- 
pital lying next to a Thai man. and he gave 
me this necklace." she says. "It was proba- 
bly the last thing he had. which he gave to 
a stranger. He said. "It will protect you.' I 
never saw him again." 

The next day Nemcova was transferred 
by helicopter to another hospital. Her 
pelvis was so badly fractured near her spine 
that doctors said it was a miracle she wasn't 
paralyzed, but she had also lost half her 
blood from internal injuries that included a 
hematoma on her kidney. "I have internal 

bleedings, and my stomach was so bl 
it was like a football, so they had t 
tube into my nose, down my throat 
stomach, to get it out," she says. "I c 
breathe. I hated it so much." 

Even after her sister, Olga, flew ii 
New York to be with her, Petra cont 
be amazed by the kindnesses of str; 
"The doctors and nurses were just ii 
ble," she says. "On New Year's Eve. I 
lots of pain, and my sister called the c 
He didn't have to come, but he did. ! 
plained me the power of our mind: 
concentrate on other things, the pain \ 
away. Our mind is stronger. And th 
day, it was like a new day— I could ma 

She gives me a radiant smile. "I b 
our mind is very powerful," she says, 
doctor said. 'Stay happy. Don't let 
mind drift into sadness: This is wha 
trying to do— remember his words." 

The babies in the newborn ward 
just been fed. and they are dozing 
tentedly in immaculate cribs. Next doo 
toddlers are supposed to be napping 
when Nemcova starts murmuring to 1 
in Czech, she elicits delighted giggles 
even the shyest child. Whatever dark st 
types one might harbor about Eastern 
ropean orphanages, the children here 
clean hair, as downy as baby-duck feat! 
and smiling nurses instantly scoop up a 
ing child to comfort him. 

To help support such amenities. Te 
Maxova formed a foundation that assists 
Prague orphanage and others. Nemcova 
Varekova, along with fellow Czechs sue 
model Eva Herzigova, have participate* 
the foundation's annual fashion-show ben 
at which Atlee took the pictures. 

During these months of recuperat 
Nemcova is forbidden to fly (air travel cc 
increase the risk of thrombosis), so si 
been visiting the orphanage more tl 
usual. Today she and Varekova brou 
bags of diapers, clothing, fruit, and swe 
and Nemcova lingers over every crib. "1 
one is a dwarf." she tells me after con 
ring with a nurse in Czech. "His pare 

262 | VANITY F A I R www vonityfoir con 

MAY 20 


"N#*t handle it, so they gave him up." 
i at the stunted baby, playing with 
id as he gurgles happily. Nemcova 
it have been able to save the children 
r screams tormented her during the 
ind she will never bear the chil- 
li he and Simon named on their last 
zether, but she will do what she can 
} abandoned children of Prague. 

interest in charity pre-dates the di- 
l> proceeds from the 
-Jemcova calendar, 
features a year's 
of sultry shots 
-°e, go to AmFAR, 
;mcova is eager to 
ire involved with 
one of the ben- 
ies she designated 
t|y profits from the 
hotographs of her 
ni/ere published af- 
ii £ tsunami, 
jragedy gives us 
oportunity to put 
ng into our lives," 
lys. "It changes our 
., gives us the op- 
lity to think where 
unt to go. I lost the 
1 closest to me, but 
a second chance 
1. 1 feel like I'm liv- 
>r both of us now. 
not just a respon- 
ty to do it as he 
1 have, but also to 
other people. I just 
can do more. I get 
ince to do some- 
better than I did. 
leve what you give 
;et back." 

jmcova's determina- 
ion to focus on the 
ive is nothing new. 

>ugh she grew up in straitened circum- 
es, she has always looked for the silver 
I, even in the grim mining town five 
> from Prague where she was raised by 
lother, a teacher, and her father, a con- 
tion worker. "There was not a lot of 
;y, so you buy your winter shoes two 
bigger and grow into them," she says, 
had enough for food, but not for spe- 
llings like fruit. This taught me how to 
;ciate things. I learned a lot of values 
ti I'm very thankful for." 
~ter getting her start in a local talent 
h, she left the Czech Republic at 18 for 
n, moved on to Paris, London, and 
York, and landed the cover of Sports li- 
lted at 22. She speaks seven languages— 
h, English, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Ital- 
ind French— with varying degrees of pro- 

ficiency Her English is heavily accented, her 
syntax often fractured, but she is admirably 
fluent— an accomplishment she attributes 
to the demands of her career. Other models 
may affect a pose of jaded boredom, but 
Nemcova remains so enthusiastic about her 
profession she might be a country girl just in 
from the farm. 

"Modeling is a great school of life— learn- 
ing languages, learning countries, learning 


Nemcova, whose life was saved 
by benevolent strangers, plans to return to 

Thailand to assist with the rebuilding 

effort. "I want to help, manually, with my 

hands— build a school or something 

like that," she says. 

cultures, meeting great people," she says. "It 
gave me a lot of strength and confidence. I 
think part of how I could deal with what 
happened is I knew how to take care of my- 
self, how to deal with strange situations. It's 
a gift to be able to do that as much as I do. 
When you learn, you grow." 

And now she's starting over. "It's going 
to be very strange," admits Nemcova, whose 
home base is a SoHo apartment she shares 
with her sister. "The whole experience feels 

for me like a newborn baby— learning how 
to turn on your side, how to stand up, how 
to walk again. It's going to be completely 
like a new life. I used to live a lot in the fu- 
ture, in planning, but at the moment I live 
day by day." 

She finds herself turning to Atlee as her 
invisible guide. "His family and friends try 
to live as he did." she explains. "It's kind of 
a message from him to all of us: You have 
to live fully, appreciate 
every minute— appreciate 
what you have, because 
you never know when it 
will go away. It can go any 
second. It's a very simple 
message of love. So I'm 
trying to keep strong and 
make the best out of what 
I have. We can't change 
what happened; we can 
only accept it and learn 
from it. And Siddy wouldn't 
want to see us in the pain. 
He would want us to be 
happy and laugh." 

One priority is to fig- 
ure out ways to honor his 
memory. "What we are 
trying to do now is to 
complete the dreams of 
Simon," Nemcova says. 
"We are organizing an 
exhibition of his work in 
May in London, and all 
the money will go to or- 
phanages in Czech. I 
think he is going to be 
laughing from one ear 
to the other, because he 
wanted to help the or- 

And as soon as possi- 
ble, she intends to return 
to Thailand. "I want to 
help, manually, with my 
hands— build a school or 
something like that," she says. "To help is 
the least I can do. It is the way to give back." 

On our last night together in Prague, Nem- 
cova takes me to the Charles Bridge, 
"because it is so beautiful," she says. Guard- 
ed by looming stone towers at either end, 
the medieval bridge is flanked on both sides 
by statues of saints, brooding and blackened 
with age. At dusk the gas lamps flicker on, 
casting mysterious shadows into the recesses 
of the cobblestoned pathway. 

Hobbling on her crutches. Nemcova leads 
me to the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, 
who was tortured and thrown off the bridge 
in 1393 on orders from King Wenceslas IV. 
She gestures toward the bronze bas-relief at 
the base of the statue, where a slender dog 
gleams amid the darkened metal, rubbed 

2 5 

vonilyfair com VANITY FAIR 


Petra Nemcova 

bright by thousands of hands. "They say that 
if you touch the dog it will bring you good 
luck," she says. "You should make a wish." 
As I touch the dog. snowflakes eddy 
around us. seeming to dance as they drift 
slowly toward the ice-crusted river. "Siddy 
loved snow.*' Nemcova says softly. "When I 
see snow. I think of him. His sister sent me a 
beautiful poem that says. Don't be sad— I am 

in a snowflake. I am in the rays of sun, I am in 
the sparkling of stars."" 

In southern Asia, people have been return- 
ing to the homes that were turned into burial 
grounds during the tsunami. To honor the 
dead, villagers in Sri Lanka cook a feast for 
their lost loved ones. "Hindus believe that the 
present owes a debt to the past, and that the 
future owes a debt to the present." one news 
report explained. "The living must satisfy the 
dead before they can have peace themselves." 

Raised under Communist rule, Nemcova 

doesn't believe in religion, but she j 
mystical certitude with the Asian 
she longs to rejoin. "Siddy is alwayJ 
me and his family." she says. "Hel 
care of us. He will stay in our hearts f 

She doesnt touch the dog. She ha 
had her luck— she is here, after all, on I 
most famous landmark, instead oj 
under mountains of debris in Khj 
where Simon's body was found a 
a half from where their bungalow ha j 

But she knows she won't get her [ 

Desperate Housew ives 

continued from page 204 public opinion. 
We're not in acting. We're not in entertain- 
ment. We're basically judged by public opin- 
ion. Do you like me? Please like me. Like 
me, like me, like me! And that you can't 
control." Longoria explains: "I believe in 
less-is-more. So I want to stop this interview 

Kidding. "Write a beautiful story about 
us," she says, laughing heartily, twirling away. 

Little-known fact: the First Lady was Mary 
Alice Williams, the former CNN anchor. 
As Cherry conceived Desperate Housewhes— 
the title came before all else— Williams com- 
posed his first mental image: a frosty blonde 
housewife, holding a gun. "Wholesome in the 
most egregious way." he recalls, then stops 
abruptly, weighing the implications. 

But anyway. "I remember thinking of a 
woman who shouldn't have a care in the 
world. A woman who is living in a gorgeous 
house, where everything is beautiful, who 
just one day kills herself." 

That was nearly three years ago, in 2002. 
when Cherry was the quintessential aging, 
unemployed TV hack, endlessly channel- 
surfing in his Studio City condominium com- 
plex, periodically emerging for meals at Jer- 
ry's Deli. Although he'd glimpsed the high- 
er rungs of the sitcom ecosystem— writing 
for The Golden Girls, selling a few doomed 
pilots— those were distant memories. 

Pushing 40. he couldn't land a job to save 
his life; it had been three years since his last 
interview. Jerry's Deli burned to the ground. 

Money dwindling, options fading, Cherry 
surrendered to the spirit of Mary Alice Wil- 
liams. He wrote and wrote, fueled by equal 
parts desperation, liberation, and Mother. He 
was an unreconstructed mama's boy. raised 
partly in Orange County, whose plasticized 
cultural aesthetic imbues every frame of 
Desperate Housewives. "I was miserable some- 
times." Cherry's mother announced one day. 
to her son's surprise. The more Gierry thought 
about that, the faster he channeled his La- 
dies, all inextricably linked by the shotgun 

death of a sixth, Mary Alice Young, which 
would occur in the show's first episode. 

When Cherry finished his first draft, in 
August 2002, his agent shopped it to net- 
works large and small, pitching it as a dark 
comedy— in essence, Six Feet Under meets 
Sex and the City. Which was accurate, up to 
a point, since Cherry had seemingly plun- 
dered both HBO shows, not to mention sev- 
eral movies: Reversal of Fortune (the voice- 
over), American Beauty, and the 1949 Joe 
Mankiew icz film, A Letter to Three Wives. 

Every network passed. One reported that 
their boss "hates this dark kind of stuff." 
Cherry recalls. Whereas HBO. he says, 
thought his project wasn't sufficiently grit- 
ty, sexy, or edgy. "Lifetime was the one that 
hurt," Cherry recalls, rightly bemused to 
have been rejected by one of the few chan- 
nels for and about housewives. 

Then again, the pitch did have some prob- 
lems. For starters. Cherry's agent, Marcie 
Wright, wasn't at the top of her game, being 
waylaid by more pressing concerns, such as 
embezzlement charges. One month after 
pitching Cherry's script, Wright was arrest- 
ed for siphoning some S270.000 from her 
clients, including Cherry, who was taken for 
S79,000. While Wright headed to prison, 
Cherry headed back to his mother, who float- 
ed him while he tried to recover his stolen 
money. He was S30.000 in debt. 

Cherry's "blue period." as he calls it, of- 
ficially ended in the summer of 2003. 
when he stepped out of the shower to an- 
swer a call from his new agent at Paradigm, 
who reported that two of Disney's TV com- 
panies. ABC and Touchstone, had agreed 
to buy and produce Desperate Housewives. 
Cherry sat on the sofa, eyes drifting to the 
day's unopened mail, which included an 
envelope that turned out to contain a resti- 
tution check for S79.000 plus interest. 

Cherry's new agency had shrewdly re- 
packaged Desperate Housewives as a frothy 
prime-time soap. And although the charac- 
ters and mood remained intact. Cherry had 
retooled the script to fit classic soap-opera 
structure, mostly by front-loading, or "teas- 
ing," the who-kilied-J.R.-ness of Mary Al- 

ice's death in the first episode. But 
solutely refused to change the title 
a colleague suggested The Secret I 
Housewives. Cherry threatened to q 

Although the show was designed 
ensemble vehicle, Cherry's highest 
priority was the role of Susan. His fi 
choices. Mary Louise Parker and 
Flockhart, passed; a third option, th 
uitous Heather Locklear, had ahead 
mitted to a show called LAX. "I waj 
cited to see Teri's name on the call 
Cherry says, "but every time she read, 
going. Oh, wow.'" 

Longoria simply Longoria'd her w 
character. "It was. like, my fourth a 
of the day. for pilot season," she recall: 
like. O.K.. what show is this? What 
about' 1 " 

"What do you think of the script?" 
ry asked. 

"Oh." she replied flatly. "I only re 

"Very Gabrielle." Cherry replied. 

Less obvious was Nicollette Sherida 
once and future queen of prime-time 
thanks to her years on Knots Landing. 
dan, whose subsequent credits include 
TV movies Deadly Visions, Deadly Bet 
and Dead Husbands, wanted to play 
"Worst audition ever." Cherry says. ' 
just sitting there, horrified, going. 'W 
she wearing that low-cut outfit?"" 

The director asked Sheridan if she'd 
reading for the smaller role of Edie 
the neighborhood skank. "Great." Sher 
recalls saying. "I come in dressed as a n 
er of two. and I leave the slut." 

Huffman was an easy call. So was C 
"who does uptight better than anyo 
know." Cherry says. 

Among the many rumors about the 
stars of Desperate Housewives, the fres 
involved Marcia Cross. She's the porce 1 
skinned redhead who plays Bree Van 
Kamp. a clenched suburban nightmare 
suggests the mutant offspring of Tina Lo 
in Tlie Step ford Wives and Annette Benin 
American Beauty. 

Because the actress, who turned 4. 

2 <> I VANITY FAIR www vamtyfoir con 

MAY 2 ( 

neither married nor "linked" to 

boy-band singers or N.B.A. point 

. the Hollywood blogosphere quaked 

donth with speculation that she was 

; erately Closeted," in the words of the 

. er blog: "The rumor that [Cross] was 

" I entK donning a pantsuit on the cover 

ga\ magazine] The Advocate to let the 

I know about her preference for female 

flia in matters of sexual gratification 
read through the media like Mexican 
i er through a Tijuana tourist." 

here was a certain postmodern life- 
- es-soap aspect to this report, that was 
itting. Reigning as the hottest non- 
series in years— the cover of Newsweek, 
>prah visits— Desperate Housewives en- 
rs to be post-everything: post-comedy, 
irama, post-soap, post-post. "Post-post- 
eminist," says Cherry, post-ironically, 
tm to have tapped into something com- 
fy accidentally, or mostly accidentally, 
|s a universal feeling among women, 
ih is: This thing we're designed by na- 

do can be very difficult and frustrat- 
ed .. . " 

1 for Marcia Cross's alleged secret les- 
irtion, "that's a lie," Cherry says, seated 
upright in his spacious bungalow on 
Jniversal back lot, his tired eyes peer- 
jver an arrangement of plastic flowers, 
fierry doesn't take issue with Cross's sex- 
I one way or another, in part because he 
elf is gay. Still, he worries. When every- 
focuses on one of the show's stars, as 
eally is or as she is imagined to be, it's 
ily at the expense of the whole package, 
might, at the end of another endless 
day, Cherry wearily contemplates the 
's burgeoning soap opera within a soap 
I in which, supposedly, one of the La- 
is out of control. "That's a lie," he says 
i. "I checked into it." 

ross's personal publicists disseminated 
ficial statement. "In response to recent 
>rs about Marcia Cross, they are com- 
ly untrue," the statement read. "She is, 
:ver, very supportive of the gay and les- 

accidentally, this was the same week 
i\BC's daytime talk show Tfie View de- 
d New York for a week in Los Angeles, 
installment featured a "special co-host" 
Desperate Housewives. Hatcher worked 
day, Huffman on Tuesday, and Wednes- 
vas reserved for Cross, who found her- 
ice-to-face with Barbara Walters. "There 
>ig rumor about you— that you are gay," 
;rs said. 

assume this is what comes from being 
id single," Cross replied. "I don't know 
;y needed to find a reason [that] I'm 
narried, but I'm not." 
io," asked co-host Joy Behar, "you're not 
'm not," Cross replied. "I did think it 

was really weird that there was all this cu- 
riosity about something like sexuality, and I 
thought, What a world we live in where that's 
so important." 

By now the Ladies had survived far 
worse. Specifically, Longoria says, "that we 
all don't get along. Or that Nicollette has 
had plastic surgery. Or that I'm an anorex- 
ic. Or that Teri's getting back with her ex- 
husband— that's a funny one." She grins. "If 
everybody only knew." 

Referring to the V.F. photo shoot days ear- 
lier, she asks, "Where were you Saturday?" 

"Photographers like to rule the roost," 
comes the reply. "Did it go O.K.?" 

"Yeah. I like doing shoots with the whole 
cast and all the guys. It took all day." She says 
sweetly, "Write a beautiful story about us." 

"Morale is really high." Sheridan says later 
that day, taking a break from a semi-private 
audience with Deepak Chopra. "From the 
cast to the crew, everybody's really happy to 
be a part of such an incredible machine." 

But like suburbia, the incredible machine 
has a dark underside, it turns out. ABC's 
mandatory stipulations included wardrobe 
requirements, specifically "no bathing suits." 
And Team Desperate really got down to brass 
tacks on positioning, specifying that Hatch- 
er was the one not to be in the center of any 
group photo. 

The shoot was set in baronial splendor, in 
and around the former Bing Crosby estate, 
in Toluca Lake, north of Los Angeles. At 
ABC's request, the schedule would be lean 
and mean, beginning at nine A.M. and end- 
ing at four P.M. because of other engage- 
ments. (Typically, cover shoots take two days 
to complete.) Minus time for essentials- 
wardrobe, stylists, double decaf skim lattes— 
that left 60 minutes for the group shot and 
30 minutes apiece for each star's single shot. 

The morning dawned bright and promis- 
ing, as did Eva Longoria, who arrived two 
hours early, at seven, thanks to a miscom- 
munication with her publicist. Naturally. 
Longoria was scheduled for the day's final 
single shot. Finding herself virtually alone, 
she headed to the house, determined to 
sleep the hours away in peace. 

Peace never came, but publicists did. Al- 
though ABC promised to keep them to a 
minimum, one by one, like unwelcome ap- 
paritions, they materialized: ABC publicists, 
Touchstone publicists, personal publicists, 
assistant publicists, publicists manques. And 
the publicists were stirring and milling, rum- 
bling and mumbling. "Tough week," said 
one. "Nerves are raw." said another. Awards 
had been won— the Screen Actors Guild 
Awards and the Golden Globes, for the lat- 
ter of which all except Longoria had been 
nominated and which Hatcher had won. 

And then there was the Enabler (not his 
real name). Although employed by ABC as 

a sort of publicity-shoot coordinator, the En- 
abler worked for no man. He worked for the 
Ladies, and if the Ladies were displeased, 
the Enabler was displeased. And if the En- 
abler was displeased, the world as we know 
it was imperiled. 

The Enabler had arrived armed, bran- 
dishing ABC's list of demands. "Whatever 
you do." he instructed the photo crew, "do 
not let Teri go to wardrobe first." Evidently, 
somebody in the cast or at ABC was con- 
cerned that Hatcher always got there first 
and got the best clothes. 

Hatcher was the first of the Ladies to ar- 
rive, at 8:15, and she cheerfully made 
her way to the wardrobe trailer (which, 
according to standard Hollywood protocol, 
operates on a first-come, first-served basis). 

"You've got to stop her!" the Enabler 
yelled. "She can't go in there first!" 

She did. Worse, the Enabler discovered 
that Hatcher had consulted with the shoot 
stylist a couple of days before— a totally 
routine occurrence, but the Enabler inter- 
preted it darkly. 

As the Ladies were getting ready, things 
seemed to go fine. "This is a problem." the 
Enabler suddenly complained. "I'm getting 
text messages from Eva. Everything is not 

The women were invited to pick from a 
large selection of 1950s pinup-style clothing. 
All but Huffman ended up in bathing suits. 

The Enabler was furious. Apparently the 
network was worried that people were call- 
ing the series trashy, and wanted to maintain 
a high tone for the photos, but the Ladies 
didn't seem to care. Which was understand- 
able, given that they were about to be pho- 
tographed lounging poolside. 

The Enabler accused V.F. of, in essence, 
swimwear violations. Sweating, purple in the 
face, clenching his teeth, he could barely con- 
trol his rage. Meanwhile, the Ladies were 
swanning about in their bathing suits, bask- 
ing in a torrent of compliments from their 

Then the real drama began. 

Wearing their chosen attire, the Ladies 
convened near what used to be Bing 
Crosby's pool. They smiled tightly, exchang- 
ing small talk; their publicists clustered off 
the set, around a corner, exchanging loud 
talk. (Protocol typically calls for a "closed 
set" at the beginning of large-scale photo 

The first setup required the Ladies to 
assemble on or near a chaise and a chair. 
While Longoria lounged on the chaise, 
Huffman leaned against it. at far left. Sheri- 
dan took the chair at far right, flanked by 
Hatcher and then Cross. Alas. 

When Cross saw that Hatcher was be- 
side her in an eye-popping cherry-red bath- 

2 5 

Yww.vonityfoir com VANITY FAIR 

2 6.^ 

Desperate Housewives 

ing suit, she exploded, grabbed her bath- 
robe, and walked off the set. 

"[Enabler]!'* Cross thundered. "Get your 
fucking ass over here now, and do your 
fucking job!" Informed that the Enabler 
wasn't allowed on-set, Cross shot back: "I 
don't care if it's a fucking closed set! You 
get him over here!" 

Hatcher just stood there, doing her best to 
work with the situation. Did she not know 
about ABC's positioning stipulations? 

The Enabler came running from around 
the corner. "I don't care what Mark [Sel- 
iger. the photographer] says. Whatever the 
talent wants goes." 

Seliger suggested that Cross and Sheri- 
dan switch positions. 

"No," Cross replied. "I don't want to sit 
in a chair." Hatcher agreed to take the 
chair, thereby putting Sheridan in the mid- 
dle. Which put Cross beside Sheridan, with 
Hatcher on the end, far right. 

At last everyone was happy. 

But when clouds caused a temporary de- 

lay, Hatcher walked to the other end of the 
pool, where she got into a tearful, heated 
conversation on her cell phone. 

From this point on, the Enabler stood di- 
rectly behind Seliger, trying to monitor 
his every shot. At one point V.F. asked an- 
other publicist to back off. The Enabler had 
heard enough, screaming in defense of the 
publicist, "Do you know who you're talking 
to— a vice president of television publicity!'* 

The cover session finally gave way to the 
"singles" shoots. Hatcher, who had invited 
her parents and daughter on-set, main- 
tained a frozen smile. 

Although three of the remaining singles 
shoots went smoothly, one did not. Cross ob- 
jected to her setup, which required her to 
stand clutching a pair of garden shears be- 
side a topiary rendition of Michelangelo's 
David. The vice president of television pub- 
licity announced, "Marcia will not come on- 
set if that penis is in the topiary." 

Once the offending shrubbery was re- 
moved, Cross emerged wearing an elegant pur- 
ple dress: in lieu of petticoats, she had chosen 
a garter belt and panties. A fan was being used 

to blow Cross's skirt high, but not 

That was the idea, at least. GUI 
Cross's exposed panties, the vice p« 
demanded, "Stop taking that picture!! 
just stood there, poker-faced, pantu 
ter. But the publicist's siege intensifiej 
not leaving. You're going to have to 
off this set. You can see her underwd 

Things had gotten so bad that) 
Brockman, head of ABC publicity, 
away from his weekend leisure to comJ 
set and calm things down. (It emera 
er that this is the last group photo sh| 
cast will ever do.) 

By seven p.m., the shoot was wrapr. 
culminating with one last shot of LoJ 
Jesse Metcalfe (who plays the lawn boj 
Ricardo Chavira (who plays Longoria 
tempered Latin husband). As a gestj 
goodwill after an extremely trying day, so| 
from Seliger's camp extended an olive 
to the Enabler. "We got some great shot| 
told him. "Everything ended up being ' 

But the Enabler stood firm. "That H 
you think," he replied. "My actors wer 
ing miserable all day." 

Finally, consensus. □ 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 

continued from page 215 before the Dem- 
ocratic convention, three network anchors 
and a CNN anchor straightforwardly dis- 
cussed the effects that right-wing broadcast- 
ers, conservative money, and organized pres- 
sure have on the networks. And in February 
2005, Pat Mitchell announced her resigna- 
tion as president of PBS, hounded from of- 
fice by right-wing critics who felt her concil- 
iatory efforts to conservatize the network- 
canceling a cartoon episode with a lesbian 
couple and adding talk shows by such right- 
wingers as Tucker Carlson and Paul Gigot— 
did not go far enough fast enough. 

Furthermore, Fox's rating success has ex- 
erted irresistible gravities that have pulled its 
competitors' programming to starboard. In 
the days leading up to the Iraq war, MSNBC 
fired one of television's last liberal voices, Phil 
Donahue, who hosted its highest-rated show; 
an internal memo revealed that Donahue pre- 
sented "a difficult public face for NBC in a 
time of war." CBS's post-election decision to 
retire Dan Rather, a lightning rod for right- 
wing wrath, coincided with Tom Brokaw's 
retirement from NBC. He was replaced by 
Brian Wlliams. who has said, "I think Rush 
[Limbaugh] has actually yet to get the credit 
he is due." According to NBC president Jeff 
Zucker, "No one understands this nascar 
nation more than Brian." 

Conservative noise on cable and talk radio 
also has an echo effect on the rest of the me- 

dia. One of the conservative talking points in 
the last election was that terrorists supported 
the candidacy of John Kerry. According to 
Media Matters, this pearl originated on Lim- 
baugh's radio show in March 2004 and re- 
peatedly surfaced in mainstream news. In May. 
CNN's Kelli Arena reported "speculation that 
al-Qaeda believes it has a better chance of 
winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White 
House"; in June it migrated to Dick Morris's 
New York Post column. Chris Matthews men- 
tioned it in a July edition of Hardball. In Sep- 
tember, Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political 
analyst, declared that al-Qaeda "would very 
much like to defeat President Bush." signaling 
that Limbaugh's contrivance was now embed- 
ded firmly in the national consciousness. 

That "echo effect" is not random. Brock 
shows in his book how the cues by which 
mainstream news directors decide what is im- 
portant to cover are no longer being suggested 
by The New- York Times and other responsible 
media outlets, but rather by the "shadowy" par- 
ticipants of a Washington, D.C., meeting con- 
vened by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax 
Reform, an anti-government organization that 
seeks to prevent federal regulation of business. 
Every Wednesday morning the leaders of 
80 conservative organizations meet in Wash- 
ington in Norquist's boardroom. This radical 
cabal formulates policy with the Republican 
National Committee and the White House, 
developing talking points that go out to the 
conservative media via a sophisticated fax 
tree. Soon, millions of Americans are hear- 

ing the same message from cable news 
mentators and thousands of talk jocks n 
America. Their precisely crafted messag 
language then percolate through the 
stream media to form the underlying as* 
tions of our national debate. 

This meeting has now grown to in 
more than 120 participants, including im 
lobbyists and representatives of conser 
media outlets such as The Washington 
and the National Review. According to B 
columnist Bob Novak sends a researcher 
Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan 
attend in person. The lockstep coordin 
among right-wing political operatives an 
press is new in American politics. 

A typical meeting might focus on a 
tax proposal released by President Bush, 
lowing conference calls throughout the m 
the decision will be made to call the 
"bold." Over the next 10 days, radio anc 
ble will reiterate that it's "bold, bold, b( 
The result, according to Brock, is that " 
pie come to think that there must be sc 
thing 'bold' about this plan." 

This highly integrated network has g 
the right frightening power to dissemi 
its propaganda and has dramatically char 
the way Americans get their information 
formulate policy. In The Republican Noise . 
chine. Brock alleges routine fraud and 
tematically dishonest practices by his fori 
employer the Reverend Sun Myung Moi 
Washington Times, which is the priman. pi 
aganda organ for Moon's agenda to estab 

2 6t> VANITY 

MAY 2 

a as a Fascist theocracy. The paper 

each more than a hundred thou- 

ubscribers, but its articles are read 

air by Rush Limbaugh, reaching 15 

people, and are posted on Matt 

Web site, to reach another 7 mil- 

ile, and its writers regularly appear 

O'Reilly Factor, before another 2 mil- 

sctuork TV talk-show producers and 

rs use those appearances as a tip sheet 

king the subject matter and guests for 

shows. And so the capacity of the 

\ative movement to disseminate prop- 

a has increased ex- 


ofcs right-wing propa- 
(f machine can quick- 
id indelibly brand 
Acratic candidates un- 
4bly— John Kerry as 
pper. Al Gore as 
. The machine is so 
[rful that it was able 
hestrate Clintons im- 
iment despite the pri- 
and trivial nature of 
crime"— a lie about 
tramarital tryst— when 
>ared with President 
li's calamitous lies 
t Iraq, the budget, 
icare, education, and 
■nvironment. During 
£000 campaign, Al 
! was smeared as a 
a charge that was 
detely false— by right- 
, pundits such as gam- 
l addict Bill Bennett 
.er Rush Limbaugh, 
i of whom the right 
has sold as moral par- 
ms. Meanwhile. George Bush's chron- 
■oblems with the truth during the three 
idential debates that year were bare- 
entioned in the media, as Brock has 
d. Americans accepted this negative 
acterization of Gore, and when they 
rged from the voting booths in 2000. 
told pollsters that Bush won their vote 

the 2004 campaign, the so-called Swift 
)at Veterans for Truth launched dishon- 
ttacks which, amplified and repeated by 
•ight-wing media, helped torpedo John 
•y's presidential ambitions. No matter 

the Democratic nominee was, this ma- 
ery had the capacity to discredit and 
'oy him. 

[eanwhile, there is a palpable absence of 
ig progressive voices on TV, unless one 
its HBO's Bill Maher and Comedy Cen- 

Jon Stewart— both comedians— or Fox's 
k foil, Alan Colmes, who plays the ever 

losing Washington Generals to Sean Hanni- 
ty's Harlem Globetrotters. There are no lib- 
eral equivalents to counterbalance Joe Scar- 
borough, John Stossel, Bill O'Reilly, and 
Lawrence Kudlow. Brock points to the sys- 
tematic structural imbalance in the panels 
that are featured across all of cable and on 
the networks' Sunday shows. Programs like 
Meet the Press and Chris Matthews's Hard- 
ball invariably pit conservative ideologues 
such as William Safire, Robert Novak, and 
Pat Buchanan against neutral, nonaligned 
reporters such as Andrea Mitchell, the diplo- 


(I) Sean Hannity. (2) Rush Limbaugh. 
(3) Tucker Carlson. (4) Matt Drudge. 

(5) G. Gordon Liddy. (6) Peggy Noonan. 

(7) Brian Williams. (8) Bill O'Reilly. 
(9) Lawrence Kudlow. (10) Dick Morris. 

(II) John Stossel. (12) William Bennett. 
(13) Oliver North. (14) Michael Savage. 

(15) Michael Reagan. (16) Joe Scarborough. 

matic correspondent for NBC News, or Los 
Angeles Times reporter Ronald Brownstein 
in a rigged fight that leaves an empty chair 
for a strong progressive point of view. 

There is still relevant information in the 
print media. But even that has been shame- 
fully twisted by the pressures of the right. 
Both The New York Times and The Wash- 
ington Post, which jumped on Scaife's band- 
wagon to lead the mainstream press in the 
Clinton-impeachment frenzy, have been 
forced to issue mea culpas for failing to ask 
the tough questions during the run-up to 
Bush's Iraq war. 

Furthermore, America's newspapers, 
like most other media outlets, are owned 
predominantly by Republican conservatives. 
Newspapers endorsed Bush by two to one 
in the 2000 election. According to a recent 
survey, the op-ed columnists who appear 
in the most newspapers are conservatives 
Cal Thomas and George Will. Republican- 
owned newspapers often reprint misinfor- 
mation from the right. And red-state jour- 
nalists, whatever their personal political 
sympathies, are unlikely to offend their edi- 
tors by spending inordinate energy exposing 
right-wing lies. 

Print journalism is a vic- 
tim of the same consolida- 
tion by a few large, profit- 
driven corporations that 
has affected the broadcast- 
ers. Today, a shrinking pool 
of owners— guided by big 
business rather than jour- 
nalistic values— forces news 
executives to cut costs and 
seek the largest audience. 
The consolidation has led 
to demands on news orga- 
nizations to return profits at 
I rates never before expected 

of them. Last summer, just 
a few months after winning 
five Pulitzer Prizes, the Los 
Angeles Times was asked by 
its parent company to drop 
60 newsroom positions. 

The pressure for bottom- 
line news leaves little incen- 
tive for investment in in- 
vestigative reporting. Cost- 
cutting has liquidated news 
staffs, leaving reporters lit- 
tle time to research stories. 
According to an Ohio Uni- 
versity study, the number of investigative re- 
porters was cut almost in half between 1980 
and 1995. 

During the debate over the Radio Act 
of 1927, an early forerunner of the Fair- 
ness Doctrine, Texas congressman Luther 
Johnson warned Americans against the cor- 
porate and ideological consolidation of the 
national press that has now come to pass. 
"American thought and American politics 
will be largely at the mercy of those who op- 
erate these stations," he said. "For public- 
ity is the most powerful weapon that can 
be wielded in a republic . . . and when a sin- 
gle selfish group is permitted to either tac- 
itly or otherwise acquire ownership and dom- 
inate these broadcasting stations throughout 
the country, then woe be to those who dare 
to differ with them. It will be impossible to 
compete with them in reaching the ears of 
the American people." 

The news isn't entirely bleak. Progressive 

2 5 VANITY FAIR 267 

Robert R Kennedy Jr. 

voices are prevalent on the Internet, which is 
disproportionately utilized by the younger age 
groups that will exercise increasing influence 
in public affairs each year. The success of 
Air America Radio, the progressive network 
whose best-known host is Al Franken, offers 
great cause for optimism. Despite a shoestring 
budget and financial chaos at its inception. 
Air America has grown in one year to include 
50 stations, from which it is accessible to half 
the American people. Most encouraging, a 
recent study shows that Air America person- 
alities as a group rank second in popularity 
to Rush Limbaugh. Last fall in San Diego, a 
traditional Republican bastion. Air Ameri- 
ca was reported to be the No. 1 radio station 
among listeners 18 to 49 years old. But pro- 
gressive activists need also to find a voice on 
television, and there the outlook is dark. 
If there is a market for progressive voices. 

as the .Air America experience suggests, why 
don't the big corporate owners leap in? A top 
industry executive recently told me that he 
was dead certain that there would be a large 
audience for a progressive TV news network 
to counterbalance the right-wing cable shows. 
"But." he said, "the corporate owners will nev- 
er touch it. Multi-nationals, like Viacom. Dis- 
nev. and General Electric, that rely on govern- 
ment business, contracts, and goodwill are not 
going to risk offending the Republicans who 
now control every branch of government." 

This executive had recently spoken to Via- 
com chairman Sumner Redstone (a lifelong 
Democrat) about the corporations open sup- 
port of the Bush administration. "'I said. "Sum- 
ner, what about our children and what about 
our country?* He replied, 'Viacom is my life. 
I've got to do what's best for the company. I 
need to buy more stations, and the Republi- 
cans are going to let me do it. It's in the com- 
pany's interest to support Republicans.'" 

When veteran television journalist and for- 

mer CBS news analyst Bill Movers 
host of PBS's Now in December, he 
"I think my peers in commercial tele 
talented and devoted journalists, bu^ 
chosen to work in a corporate ma 
trims their talent to fit the corporate 
American life. And you do not get 
for telling the hard truths about Ameil 
profit-seeking environment." Moyers 
decline in American journalism "the| 
story of our time." He added, "We 
ideological press that's interested in 1 1 
tion of Republicans, and a mainstrean 
that's interested in the bottom line. Th| 
we don't have a vigilant, independer 
whose interest is the American peopl 
Moyers has elsewhere commenul 
"the quality of journalism and the qu| 
democracy are inextricably joined." 
minishing the capacity for voters to mj 
tional choices, the breakdown of the 
ican press is threatening not just our eij 
ment but our democracy. □ 


Athina Onassis Roussel 

continued from page 210 Landhage, was 
also pregnant with his child— a boy they 
named Erik, who was born several months 
after Athina. In an effort to keep Roussel by 
her side. Christina would invite him. with 
Gaby and Erik, to her estate and insist that 
they all be photographed together. What fi- 
nally drove Christina to divorce was the dis- 
covery that Gaby had given birth to a sec- 
ond child. Sandrine. who is now 17. 

Christina divorced Thierry but still hoped 
to make up and have another child with 
him. In the fall of 1987, she wrote a letter to 
Stelio Papadimitriou, saying. "I want to re- 
mind you that I was the first one who came 
to you ... to ask for help, to protect me 
against Thierry — I built a house made in 
cement, with a door to open the house. In 
this house I put all my capital, and the door 
was closed and the job of the protectors is 
to keep the door closed. They are there to 
help me, because they know too well that I 
have a weakness for this man. and therefore 
I will always be subject to abuse." 

Fifteen years before Christina's death, 
her brother, Alexander, whom Onassis had 
groomed to take over his empire, died at 24 
from injuries suffered in a freak airplane 
crash in Athens, which sent both of their 
parents into emotional tailspins that quickly 
claimed their lives. Their mother, born Athi- 
na Livanos but called Tina, had divorced 
Onassis in 1960, after he went public with 
his affair with Maria Calks. Tina died with- 
in a year and a half of her son, when she 
was only 45. Onassis. who left Callas in 1968 
to marry Jacqueline Kennedy, died two years 

after his son's fatal crash. "Both lost the will 
to live after Alexander died," says Marilena 
Patronicolas, Onassis's niece. 

When Tina Livanos Onassis Blandford 
Niarchos died of a suspected overdose of 
barbiturates in 1974. she left most of her es- 
tate, estimated at S77 million, to her daugh- 
ter. Christina, and upon Christina's death in 
1988 it passed on to Athina, who was named 
for her grandmother. But the bulk of Athi- 
na's inheritance comes from her grandfather. 
Aristotle Socrates Onassis, and that fortune 
has had such a complicated journey since he 
died that it would take a team of accountants 
to trace it. I spent four years researching a 
book about Onassis called Greek Fire, which 
was published in 2000. and my contacts from 
that effort have helped me discover the facts 
about the famous inheritance that in 1988 
earned three-year-old Athina the sobriquet 
"the richest little girl in the world." 

The first thing about the fortune that 
comes as a surprise is that, while it is 
large enough to make Athina one of the rich- 
est young women in the world, it's nowhere 
near the S3 billion that was often reported. 
When Onassis died in 1975, he left assets val- 
ued at more than S 1 billion, including $426 
million in cash and securities; more than 50 
ships; a half-interest in the Olympic Tower, in 
New York City: holdings in half a dozen coun- 
tries; and his private Greek island, Skorpios. 
His outstanding liabilities amounted to S421 
million— mostly bank loans on the ships and 
real estate, according to Stelio Papadimitriou. 
who was his lawyer— so the actual value of his 
estate when he died was about S500 million. 
As directed in Onassis's 1974 will, the es- 
tate was left to Christina and to a foundation 

to be established in memory of Alex; 
The executors of the will divided the 
into two equal lots— A and B— and Chi 
was allowed to pick which lot she w 
She chose Lot B, and Lot A was assigr 
the foundation. The management of bo 
tunes was assigned in the will to four in 
uals who had been senior Onassis advis 
his business career. 

Christina promptly threatened legal ; 
if she could not oversee the managemer> 
only of her estate but also of the founds 
as its president. The trustees complied i 
der to avoid having her hold up the ere 
of the foundation with prolonged litiga 
Christina pressured her stepmother. Jat 
line Kennedy Onassis, to accept a settle! 
of S26 million to abandon all claims to 
Onassis estate. Under Greek law, as O 
sis's widow, Jackie could have receive 
much as 12.5 percent, or $125 million 
the time Jackie died at 64 in 1994, she 
parlayed her settlement into more than S 
million through sound investments. 

After Christina died, in 1988. her hal 
the Onassis estate, then estimated at $. 
million in cash and securities and anol 
S100 million in real estate, went to her th 
year-old daughter. It was managed by 
four Onassis advisers who served on the fc 
dation's board, along with Thierry Rous. 

What happened next leads to the secc 
revelation about Athina's inheritan 
While both the Onassis assets that went 
her and those that went to the foundati 
had essentially the same management for il 
next 11 years, they did not grow at the sai 
pace. The foundation's portion more th 
tripled, to over $ 1 billion, in that period, wr 


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■ina Onassis Roussel 

's portion only doubled, to S600 mil- 
cording to Papadimitriou. These totals 
include real estate. Athina's real-estate 
, according to two informed sources, 
iated to total about $200 million and 
e two spacious apartments on the 
e Foch, in Paris; a vacation home in 
Ua, Spain; a home at Gingins, outside 
a compound on Ibiza with eight 
nine pools and a waterfall; Skorpios 
iree islands around it; two valuable sea- 
arcels outside Athens; and considerable 
rty on the Greek island of Chios left by 
as grandmother Tina Livanos. The real- 
holdings of the foundation are now 
i an estimated S600 million. 
ie reason Athina's fortune did not grow 
ridly, according to Stelio Papadimitriou, 
it Roussel demanded large sums for 
la's care (some $150 million over 11 
) and made a number of bad business 
ions. (Athina also had to pay $35 million 
heritance taxes, whereas the foundation, 
In pays taxes on income from its hold- 
did not have to pay inheritance taxes.) 
s an example of Roussel's bad invest- 
I decisions, Papadimitriou cited his in- 
ace that Athina's estate sell all its hold- 
in the industry in which most of its 
ey had been made— shipping. "Since 
rates have soared, and Athina's estate 
mot shared in the windfall, unlike the 
adation, which stayed in shipping," he 
Another reason Athina's estate has not 
d as well as the charity, he asserted, is 
Roussel insisted that the foundation buy 
his daughter's half-interest in the Olym- 
Tower— just before real-estate prices in 
I York went through the roof. "Athina's 
-share in the building is now worth four 
:s what her estate got for it, thanks to her 
er," Papadimitriou told me. He would 
specify the amount Roussel sold it for, 
it is believed to have been $47 million, 
asked Roussel about this transaction in 
ries of questions I sent him, but he re- 
ided through his lawyer that he would 
cooperate with me. His former spokes- 
i in Athens, Alexis Mantheakis, however, 
»ted that the complicated ownership of 
building and the leases held on it did not 
:e it a good investment at the time. "Be- 
s, key members of the foundation's board 
laged Athina's assets with Roussel in 
;e days," he added. "If the deal was not 
d for Athina, why did they approve it?" 
'apadimitriou says that Roussel fought 
utterly with the board members over the 
lagement of the building that they went to 
viss court and offered to sell the founda- 
s share to Athina in order to end the bick- 
g, but Roussel insisted that the foundation 
her out, and the court approved the sale. 

Friction between Roussel and the board 
continued to grow until Roussel took legal 
action to have its members dismissed— a bat- 
tle that was chronicled in a November 1997 
article in this magazine. Lawsuits abounded 
in Greece and Switzerland, and charges and 
countercharges flew. Roussel has accused the 
group of mismanagement, defamation, and 
even trying to kidnap Athina. That incident 
occurred in 1997, when the British bodyguards 
assigned to the girl in Switzerland realized that 
they were being shadowed by men they iden- 
tified as former Israeli commandos. Rous- 
sel called the authorities, who detained the Is- 
raelis but released them when they found no 
evidence to support Roussel's allegation of 
an attempted abduction. "The foundation was 
paying for the bodyguards hired by Roussel 
to protect Athina, and the other men were 
hired by us to check the efficiency of the Brit- 
ish guards," says Papadimitriou. "Nobody in- 
tended to abduct the little girl." 

Nevertheless, the experience left Athina 
feeling threatened and vulnerable, even at 
home and on her way to school. Relatives 
and friends say that she lived in fear that 
someone would kidnap her, and that that is 
why she cowered during any appearance in 
public and constantly clutched at her father. 

After being accused of plotting against 
Athina, the Greek "graybeards," as the foun- 
dation's board members were called in the 
press, in turn accused Roussel of wasting his 
daughter's money in bad investments, and of 
isolating Athina from her Greek heritage de- 
spite the specific directions in the protocol he 
had signed when taking custody of her and the 
money for her upbringing. Alexis Mantheakis 
disputes criticism of Roussel: "He told me he 
feels he has done no wrong by his daughter, 
and as a mortal he has been 99 percent a 
correct father, something he feels proud of." 

In 1999 a Swiss court finally took the 
management of Athina's fortune away from 
both the graybeards and Roussel and turned 
it over to a Swiss auditing firm, KPMG Fides, 
which managed it until Athina reached the 
legal age of 18, on January 29, 2003. 

Athina had been awaiting that 18th birth- 
day with trepidation all her life. Grow- 
ing up, she had become aware of the family 
schisms, the court battles, the rumors of kid- 
nappings, and threats to her life— all caused 
by the huge fortune she had inherited. When 
she went to Swiss public schools with her 
blond half-siblings or rode her beloved horse, 
Arco de Valmont, she was always under 
scrutiny. When she made the rare visit back 
to Greece with her father— as she did on the 
10th anniversary of her mother's death— she 
was besieged by journalists and locals who 
wanted to speak to her, touch her, ask her 
about her famous grandfather. She couldn't 
understand a word of the excited Greeks who 
called her "koukla" (doll) and "chryso mou" 

(my treasure— an endearment universally used 
in Greece, but sadly ironic in this case). 

All Athina seemed to want was to be 
invisible and to see an end to the fighting 
over her millions. When Roussel invited Di- 
ane Sawyer into his home in 1998 to inter- 
view him for 20/20 about his battle with 
the foundation, Gaby quoted Athina as say- 
ing, "If I burn the money, there will be no 
problem. No money, no problem." 

On her 18th birthday, the half of the Onas- 
sis fortune that her mother had left her— 
which by then amounted to at least $800 
million— was turned over to Athina. Within 
days, however, her father had taken control 
of it. He managed to obtain power of attor- 
ney from his daughter, which gave him au- 
thority to supervise her estate. 

Roussel then put all of Athina's assets into 
a trust and brought in executives from several 
leading international banks, including Citicorp, 
Rothschild, and Julius Baer of Switzerland, to 
help him manage the fortune, according to a 
Roussel source. While the press has reported 
that Roussel, heir to a French pharmaceutical 
business, had not only squandered his own 
family's money but also frittered away much of 
Athina's wealth, the source says that during the 
nearly two years the assets were in the trust and 
overseen by Roussel and the banks they grew 
by 12.5 percent, and that Roussel has letters 
from the banks that helped manage them to 
prove it. I asked to see the letters or to have 
Roussel provide a written statement formally 
making that assertion, but neither was forth- 

A year before she turned 18, Athina, in a 
dramatic move for such a dependent child, 
left her home outside Geneva and moved to 
Brussels to pursue her passion for riding. She 
enrolled at a school run by the renowned 
Brazilian equestrian Nelson Pessoa, where, 
her friends say, she met Alvaro de Miranda 
Neto, the Brazilian Olympic show jumper 
whose team had won bronze medals in Syd- 
ney in 2000 and in Atlanta in 1996. 

It's hardly surprising that Athina was at- 
tracted to the handsome, sophisticated, 
multi-lingual champion in the sport to which 
she had dedicated herself. What she did not 
know at first was that Alvaro had long been 
involved with a Brazilian model close to his 
own age named Sibele Dorsa, with whom he 
had a baby daughter named Viviane. Sibele 
had grown tired of living in Brussels and re- 
turned to Brazil with the stated intention of 
joining the cast of the Brazilian version of the 
TV show Big Brother. Eventually Sibele and 
Athina learned of each other's existence, and 
when it became clear to Sibele that Alvaro 
was dumping her for the teenage heiress, she 
gave a number of bitter statements to the 
press. "She can buy him horses and I can't," 
she complained. "He always told me he 
found her fat and ugly. He exchanged me for 

t 2 5 

www.vonityfoir.con V A N I T Y FAIR 271 

Athina Onassis Roussel 

Athina's money." To one newspaper she said, 
"We were happy together until he met her. 
Our onl\ problem was money, and Doda is 
useless with money. What he earns, he spends. 
He is a charismatic, persuasive man. She will 
hang on his every word, but she will learn, as 
I have." According to a British newspaper, 
"the couple insist that their relationship be- 
gan when Doda parted with Sibele." 

The amount of money 17-year-old Athina 
was then receiving was in fact quite small, be- 
cause her father had put her on an allowance 
of 10,000 euros (then worth about $9,000) a 
month, according to what she and Alvaro lat- 
er told a friend. But Athina had found her 
first great love, and restrictions on her buying 
power were the last thing on her mind. She 
had never been interested in jewelry or couture 
clothing. Her only extravagance was horses, 
and the bitterest memory of her childhood, ac- 
cording to one friend, was when her father re- 
fused to give her half a million dollars to buy 
a champion horse she had her heart set on. 

In the first rush of love, the couple led a 
simple life in Brussels, going to films and in- 
expensive restaurants, spending most of their 
time in grueling training sessions. However, ac- 
cording to the Brazilian press, soon after Athi- 
na reached 18, Alvaro took her to Sao Paulo 
to celebrate his 30th birthday— February 5— 
and to meet his parents and his little daughter. 

Although Athina resembles her mother, es- 
pecially in her big, dark, Byzantine eyes, she 
was spared Christina's large nose and her per- 
sistent weight problem, which led to yo-yo di- 
eting and probably contributed to her death. 
Taller and fairer than her mother, Athina in- 
herited a degree of her father's good looks. The 
comments made by Sibele must have both- 
ered her, however, for, according to Brazilian 
and international newspapers and magazines, 
on February 24, 2003, shortly after arriving in 
Sao Paulo, she checked herself into a clinic, 
reportedly to have liposuction done on her ab- 
domen and derriere at the hands of Dr. Ricar- 
do Lemos, who is noted for making Brazilian 
women thong-ready. Even though she left the 
clinic by the garage. Athina was photographed 
in a large, flowing man's shirt and slacks, 
flanked by Alvaro and her bodyguard. (An as- 
sistant of Dr. Lemos's would neither confirm 
nor deny that the doctor had treated Athina.) 

Ten months later Athina and Alvaro were 
vacationing in Uruguay at Punta del 
Este. where they reportedly spent four days 
in the presidential suite of the Conrad resort 
and casino. Athina commented, "My grand- 
father Aristotle was a regular visitor to Punta 
del Este when he lived in Argentina"— a sign 
that she had been studying Onassis's early 
history. Back in Sao Paulo, she reportedly 
bought Alvaro a prize cow named Esperar- 

ca (Hope) for his cattle farm, a $320,000 gift 
that was compared to the 40-carat-diamond 
engagement ring Onassis gave Jackie Ken- 
nedy, valued at up to $600,000. 

Athina moved into a rented apartment in 
Sao Paulo and began to study Portuguese, 
in which she soon became fluent. (The heir- 
ess, who also speaks French, English, and 
Swedish, is said to have the same facility for 
languages that her grandfather had. Aristot- 
le Onassis spoke six.) Then she began look- 
ing for a house to buy. "She loves Brazil be- 
cause life is more relaxed there and she wasn't 
harassed by reporters, as she was in Europe," 
says Kostas Kotronakis. "She feels she can 
lead a more normal life there." 

In December 2004— close to Athina's 
20th birthday— she and Alvaro went to the 
consul and asked him to be the best man at 
their wedding. At first, Kotronakis says, they 
considered marrying on Skorpios, where her 
grandfather wed Jacqueline Kennedy 37 years 
ago. (A skeleton staff of 10 live on the island, 
keeping it always ready in case Athina should 
decide to visit— something that has happened 
only four times during the last 17 years, the 
most recent in 1998.) But, perhaps aware of 
the media circus that that earlier event had 
caused, they decided that security was not 
good enough in Greece and that they would 
marry in a Catholic ceremony in Sao Paulo. 
At the suggestion of Kotronakis, they are 
considering having a Greek Orthodox priest 
as well as a Catholic prelate. Alvaro and 
Thierry Roussel were both bora into Roman 
Catholic families. Gaby and her three chil- 
dren are Protestant. 

From the beginning, Athina's relationship 
with Alvaro troubled Roussel, partly, some 
say, because he was no longer the main influ- 
ence in her life, and partly, according to one 
friend, because he grew increasingly con- 
vinced that his daughter's main attraction 
for the Brazilian was not her youthful beauty 
or her riding skills but her fortune. Roussel 
apparently conducted investigations of Al- 
varo and his family, and information passed 
on to me by one of Roussel's friends indicat- 
ed that a company in which Alvaro 's father 
has a non-controlling stake was involved in a 
long court case for not making full pension 
tax payments for its workers. A spokesman 
for the company, Pamcary, which is a large 
insurer of cargoes transported into and out 
of Brazil, says it has reached a settlement 
with the Brazilian government, and "install- 
ments are being regulany paid." 

As a result of his suspicions, Roussel, ac- 
cording to friends of his and Athina's, kept 
Athina on a tight financial leash even though 
she had moved out of his home, and that 
caused a major breach between them. Early 
last year, when Athina's monthly allowance 
ran out, according to a friend, she called 
Roussel's assistant and asked for more mon- 
ey only to be told that the funds she had re- 

quested were not available. When she 
that her father had tied her purse 
a flash of the famous Onassis temr. 
quently displayed by her mother 
grandfather, burst out. 

Athina demanded an accounting 
assets, and the information she 
from her father did not satisfy her. ao 
to sources close to the principals in th 
Spurred on by Alvaro, she sought leg 
resentation in London, hiring the intei 
al firm of Baker & McKenzie. A team 
vers headed by senior partner Nick P 
moved immediately in Chancery C 
nullify the power of attorney that Athir 
unwittingly given her father and to 
freeze her assets. 

Roussel resisted disclosing where the 
were, and hired his own team of lawyers 
the firm of Allen & Overy. (Neither lav- 
would confirm or deny anything aboi 
case.) When Alvaro went to Athens la.' 
gust to represent Brazil in the Summer ( 
pics, he complained to teammates, accc 
to a witness, that at that point more than 
million of Athina's fortune was still unacc 
ed for and that most of her real-estate hoi 
had been mortgaged so that she woul 
able to sell them. Athina, meanwhile, km 
what a scene would ensue if she showi 
in Athens to watch her lover compete,- 
strategically out of sight in Belgium. 

Isidoros Kouvelos, husband of An 
mayor Dora Bakoyiannis and a leading f. 
in the Greek Equestrian Federation. 1 
out with Alvaro at the summer games 
told me that the Brazilian's dark good I 
had women vying for his attention. "W 
ever I was with him, every girl that pa 
by turned to look at him," he said. "He 
joyed the attention but kept them at a 
tance. One went right up to him and ai 
him to autograph her breast, and he di 
know how to respond. He looked aroum 
see if there were any photographers nea 
then smiled sheepishly, signed his nam« 
requested, and quickly walked away." 

By the end of the summer, Athina's fir. 
cial assets had apparently been establish 
because on September 10, according to a c 
fidant of Athina and Alvaro's, the two wan 
sides met and sketched the outline of a set 
ment. This was supposed to be refined a 
drafted over the next month, and both si< 
were scheduled to meet in October and s 
it, but Roussel failed to appear. After furtl 
negotiations, however, he signed an agreenv 
by the end of 2004 that released all cont 
of Athina's assets to her in return for a set! 
ment that included both cash and real esta 
(The actual amount is still a secret, but 
mors in Athens put it at about S100 millioi 

The struggle with her father took its t 
on Athina. She continued to talk to Rous! 
on the telephone, but their conversations < 

2 72 J VANITY FA I R | 

MAY 2 

*||ame acrimonious, one friend says, 
torn between her lifelong loyalty to 
d her new dependence on her lover, 
id taken her father's place in her mind 

ten Athina called me last November, 

;| the seemed highly agitated. "Did you 

my father personally? Are you saying 

cized Doda to you? What did he say 

1 ?" she asked almost in one breath. 

■ in I told her that I had not talked to 

her directly and had not therefore 

ally heard his opinion of Alvaro, she 

1 relieved, said that she had to take an- 

all. and promised to phone me back. 

ver did. 

ina's relationship with her father 
i her anguish during certain periods of 
. she told a friend, though the outside 
(was unaware of it. Not only did Rous- 
n Athina about omnipresent dangers- 
ally Greeks— he also demanded com- 
knd unquestioning obedience. She has 
iends that she was so frightened of an- 
her only surviving parent that his fre- 
I outbursts devastated her. 
:ording to a friend in whom she confid- 
5ao Paulo, Roussel would explode with- 
irning. "Once, when she was about 12 
he screamed at her so that she ran away 
lent to hide in an abandoned building, 
I she almost froze before they found 
the friend told me. "Even later, when 
is 17, she became so frightened when he 
ded at her that she wet herself." That 
le year she left home for good. 
e hard edge Roussel shows at times has 
one unnoticed even by his most ardent 
raters. "Ironically, his good manners to- 
pnceal what he has always fought against 
ere— an authoritarian streak," notes Alexis 
Iheakis in a book he published in Greece 
02, Athina— In the Eye of the Storm. 
:spite her difficulties with her father, 
ver, Athina loves him and continues to 
his approval. At the height of their dif- 
les last year, she wanted to give him half 
attune just to end the dispute, but Al- 
and her lawyers talked her out of it, ac- 
ng to a source close to the negotiations, 
thina has no real understanding of what 
atune means," says a Greek relative. "She 
> all she needs to live comfortably for the 
f her life is about $5 million, and she has 
eat interest in the rest. But she's learning 
laving a big fortune is a big responsibility." 

ce her mother, Athina decided not to 
iursue a university education, choosing 
id to go to riding school in Belgium at 
ge of 17. Her father, who also never went 
l college after finishing the prestigious 
: des Roches, in France, is quoted by Ste- 
ipadimitriou as not having placed a high 
on an education for Athina. "He once 

told me, 'She doesn't have to have an educa- 
tion. I don't want a daughter with Coke-bottle 
glasses. She has me and her brother, Erik, to 
look after her affairs,' " said Papadimitriou. 
Alexis Mantheakis says, "I am sure Roussel 
in his heart would love Athina to go to uni- 
versity now or later He's very proud of his 

son [Erik, now 19,] for passing his first-level 
baccalaureate last summer and is delighted 
that Erik is going to go to a good university." 

People who know Athina say that she 
comes by her strength of character through her 
stepmother, Gaby, who for 15 years reared her 
along with her own three children in the un- 
pretentious, five-bedroom Villa Bois L'Essert, 
in Lussy-sur-Morges, a village outside Lau- 
sanne. In 1990, two years after Christina died 
and Roussel took the three-year-old girl to live 
with them, Gaby and Thierry were married, 
and Athina, Erik, and Sandrine were atten- 
dants at the wedding. Later the couple had 
a second daughter, Johanna, who is now 13. 
Gaby's three children seem to be as affection- 
ate toward Athina as they are with one an- 
other. (The settlement Athina made with her 
father reportedly includes generous amounts 
for her step-siblings and her stepmother.) 

Throughout her childhood, Athina was 
on a firm schedule and a small allowance, 
enrolled at local public schools, and indulged 
only by being allowed to pursue her passion 
for horses (which is shared by Sandrine). 
Gaby, who comes from a middle-class Swed- 
ish family, got Athina interested in animals 
and the environment. Even at the height of 
Athina's legal battle with her father, she spoke 
regularly with Gaby on the phone. 

It's generally believed that Athina had a 
much more stable life with Gaby than she 
would have had with her mother. Christina 
spoiled the child hopelessly, giving her dolls 
dressed in Dior couture, a private zoo, and, 
when she could sing "Baa Baa Black Sheep," 
a flock of sheep and a shepherd to tend 
them. She would shower her with gifts and 
then disappear on another jet-set trip, in 
search of a man who would love her for her- 
self and not her money. 

If Gaby's firm, loving influence has given 
Athina a solid foundation, her real mother's life 
has served as a cautionary tale. In the last year 
Athina has taken dramatic steps to assert her- 
self, to assume control of her fortune, and to re- 
establish her links to her heritage. She has even 
asked the Greek consul in Recife to find some- 
one to teach her Greek. This rapprochement 
with her background, however, could be seen 
as an attempt to placate the directors of the 
Onassis foundation so that she can make a 
grab for the presidency of that half of the 
Onassis fortune. Friends of hers in Athens have 
been quietly trying to find out what exactly it 
would take for her to seek the presidency when 
she becomes eligible to do so at 21, in 2006. 

The requirements are stiff. The will of Onas- 
sis says only that the president must be elected 

by a majority of the board, and the current 
members say that Athina is far from qualified 
for the job. While the bylaws pushed through 
by her mother stipulate in Article 6(b) that the 
charity's president shall be a descendant of 
Onassis's, as long as one is available, and shall 
assume the post "without the requirement 
of election ... for life," they also state that the 
president must be "eligible" by having reached 
"the age of 21 years" and by having the "ca- 
pacity to serve and being willing to serve" 
its interests. "We spent millions trying to get 
Roussel to educate and train her to be able 
to take over, but she has not even finished 
high school, and she has no business experi- 
ence whatsoever," says Papadimitriou. "How 
can she serve the interests of the foundation?" 

The educational background of Athina's fu- 
ture husband is not much stronger than 
her own. Alvaro's father, Ricardo, has a share 
in several companies under the banner of Pam- 
cary. His mother, Elizabeth, is a psychologist. 
But Alvaro, like Athina, never finished high 
school, and he never showed much interest 
in his father's enterprises. Since he was 10, 
he has pursued his passion for riding. When 
he began to compete professionally, he was 
financed by a S20,000-a-month allowance 
from his family and by rich sponsors, in- 
cluding the automaker Audi. 

Clearly Alvaro is behind Athina's efforts to 
become more Greek. He urges her to strength- 
en her national identity and her ties to the 
Onassis legacy on every front. He arranged for 
her to join the Greek riding club, and he en- 
courages her to visit Greece and learn the lan- 
guage. The inevitable question that friends 
and relatives are asking about Alvaro's influ- 
ence on Athina is this: is he altruistically help- 
ing her gain the strength to stand on her own 
feet and assert her rights, or is he a fortune 
hunter motivated by greed, like so many of 
the men who victimized Christina? "She lis- 
tens to him, values his opinion above all oth- 
ers, but she also asks others what they think, 
and in the end she makes her own decisions," 
a confidant of both says. Alvaro has been 
careful not to seem to be influencing Athina. 
Whenever she met with her lawyers during 
her legal battle with her father, Alvaro made 
a point of not attending the meetings, a 
source close to the negotiations says. 

How Athina will deal with her new wealth 
and responsibilities remains to be seen. "She 
is at a crossroads right now," says Alexis 
Mantheakis. "Will she follow her mother's 
path and have a turbulent private life, focus 
on the values her stepmother taught her and 
pursue her interest in animals and the envi- 
ronment, or fulfill her destiny as an Onassis 
and revive her grandfather's legacy?" 

Only Athina can answer those questions, 
and her decisions over the next few years will 
determine whether she becomes another vic- 
tim of the Onassis curse or a survivor. □ 

2 5 | V A N I T Y FAIR 2 73 



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styled with Radiant Red Color Finish Super 
Hairspray Felicity Huffman's hair styled 
Blonde Curvaceous Blonde Curl -Defining Sh 
Hershberger for Sally Hershberger Downtc 
Hatcher's and Longoria's faces, 
Diorskin Pure Ught in b'ght Beige 
and Honey Beige, respectively; 
on their eyes, Diorshow Eyecolor 
in Creative Brown and Eyeliner 
Pencil in Black; on their cheeb, 
Diorshow Powder in Spotlight 
Peach and Skinflash Radiance 
Booster Pen; on their lips, Addict Ultra 
Upcolor in Shiniest Coffee. Or Sheridan's 
Diorskin Pure Ught in Blond and Oil-Free Pres 
Powder in Transparent Light; on her eyes, 5-C 
Eyeshadow in Beige Massai, Eyeliner Penal in 
and Diorshow Mascara in Black; on her ch 
Bella Sun Powder in Healthy Look; on her lips, 
Upstick in Rose Mirage and Addict Uftra-GI< 
Blush of Wine. On Cross's face, Diorskin Air 
Foundation in Ught Beige; on her eyes, 5-Col 
Eyeshadow in Bleu Denim and Diorshow Water 1 
Mascara in Black; on her cheeks, Diorshow Pi 
Catwalk Pink; on her lips, Addict Upstick in Rose 
Scenario. On Huffman's face, Diorskin Air Fl 
Foundation in Cameo; on her eyes, 5 -Colour 
Eyeshadow in Gris VIM and Diorshow Waterpn 
Mascara in Black; on her cheeb, Diorshow PowJ 
Spotlight Peach; on her lips, Addict Upstick in Intn 
Marsha Bialo for O.P.iyartistsbytimothypriano.col 
Lutz for Cargo/; Matin for Dior/; Lisa Postma fof; Jo Strettell for doutierage 
Page 54: See credits for cover. 
Page 56: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s grooming b 
Patrick Melville for Redken/Warren Tricomi 
Management. Mark Seal's grooming b> E 
Farman for; Wendy Stark 
Morrissey's makeup by Amy Oresman. 
Page 64: Buzz Bissinger's grooming by Assum 
Clohessy for Price, Inc. Elissa Schappell's hair a 
makeup by Joe J. Simon for Giorgio Armani 
Page 94: Sue Corswell's hair by Tomoyasu 
Nakajima for Sally Hershberger Downtown; mo 
by Gigi Hale for 
Page 96: James Perse's grooming by Jamie 
for Redken/ 
Page 100: Amy Sacco's hair by Ryan Trygsta< 
the Wall Group; makeup by Fulvia Farolfi 
Page 104: Top. Leslie Feist's hair and makeuj 
Claudio Belizario. Center left, John Wigmore' 
grooming by Lisa Gamer for artistsbytimothyprianc 
Page 106: Top Brandon Creed's and Jererr 
Abrams's grooming by Naomi Warden for Bottom, Spoon's 
grooming by Melizah Schmidt. 
Page 108: Top Tory Burch's hair by Gavin 
Anesbury for; makeup by 
Regine Thorre for Marek & Associates. Bottom le 
Yael Alkalay's hair and makeup by Katrina 
Borgstrom for Price, Inc. Bottom right, Giorgio 
Armani Armani Prive from Giorgio Armani 
boutiques nationwide and from selected Sab Fiff 
Avenue stores; Estee Lauder Graphic Color 
EyeShadow Ouods from Estee Lauder counters 
nationwide, or go to; SK-II Fac 
Clear Solution from Sab Fifth Avenue stores 
nationwide; Ermenegildo Zegna Z fragrance fit 

2 T t i VANITY F A I R | www.-anityfoir on 

MAY 2 C 

dale's, Macy's, and Nordstrom stores 
e; La Mer Miraculous Beginnings 

In Bergdorf Goodman, NYC, and 
Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores 
e; Frederic Malle scented soaps from 
slew York, NYC. and Beverly Hills. 
3: Daniel Craig's hair styled with Kiehl's 
:ening Spray, from Kiehl's and Barneys New 
s nationwide, or go to 
g products by Kiehl's and Shu Uemura; Shu 
□roducts from Shu Uemura and Sephora 
tionwide, or go to; his face 
=d with Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing 
Treatment for Men; on his lips, Shu Uemura 
21. Lee Jackson for Kinninmont Salon. 
98-205: Ricardo Chavira's and Jesse 
's hair styled with Kiehl's Solid Grooming 
Kiehl's and Barneys New Yorks stores 
je, or go to; Catherine Furniss for For other details, see 
jr cover. 
13: Robert F Kennedy Jr.'s grooming by 

Clohessy for Price, Inc. 
216-17, 220, and 263: Petra Nemcova's 
hd with Aveda Volumizing Tonic, Air Control 
py, and Anti-Humectant Pomade, from Aveda 
'itionwide; Ted Gibson for Aveda/Ted Gibson 
rtakeup products by Dior, from Dior 
bs and major department stores nationwide; 
Mercier, from Bergdorf Goodman, NYC, 
neys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue stores 
►de; and Orlane, from Neiman Marcus 
stores nationwide, or go to On her 
face, Orlane Recovery 
Complex, Laura Mercier 
Foundation Primer and 
Foundation in Suntan Beige; 
on her eyes, Laura Mercier Eye 
Colour in Coffee Ground and 
noke, and Diorshow Mascara in Black; on her 
Dior So Cheek Blush in So Pink Sweet and 
vlercier Bronzing Powder; on her lips, Laura 
' Glace in Bare Beige; Matin for Dior/ 

276: Jack Welch's grooming by Cynthia 
/ for Ennis, Inc. 


: Production by Ruth Levy. Thomas Thurnauer for 

54: See credits for cover. 

70: From Getty Images. 

74: From the Toronto Sfar/Zuma Press. 

35: From Horry Benson's America (Abrams). 

»0: By Alexa Helsell (May 2); Joe Atlas/ 

Brand X/PictureOuest (5); Steve Gorton/DK Images 

(7); from C Squared Studios/PhotoDisc/PictureOuest 

(8); by Bill Ling/DK Images (13); Dave King/DK Images 

(15); courtesy of StoryCorps (19); Caravaggio's Saint 

John the Baptist, about 1610, © 1991, Photo SCALA, 

Florence/Ministero per i Beni e le Attivita Culturali 

(22); from DK Images (25); courtesy of Chanel (27); 

from PhotoDisc/PunchStock (30); courtesy of Pacific 

Renaissance Pictures/ITVS (31); by George D. 

Lepp/Corbis (airplane). 

Page 96: Top left, all by Lisa Kerr; airplane 

illustration by Dover Books. 

Page 100: Top left, props styled by Anna Holmes 

Hurley; top right, from Harry Benson's America 

(Abrams); bottom right, both courtesy of the artist 

and the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York. 

Page 102: From top: by Tang Chak/Courtesy of 

Sony Picture Classics, Robert DiScalfani, Tracy 

Bennett/Paramount Pictures, courtesy of ThinkFilm. 

Page 104: Center right, by Allan Gould/Time Life 

Pictures/Getty Images; bottom, by Rich Lipski/ 

Courtesy of The Washington Post; photo corners on 

both from PhotoDisc/PunchStock. 

Page 106: Top, props styled by Anna Holmes Hurley; 

second from top, from BGM Photo/Splash News. 

Page 108: Bottom right: all photographs of products 

by Alexa Helsell; photograph of eye from Superstock. 

Page 110: Clockwise from top left: by 

Robin Platzer/Film Magic, Lawrence Lucier/Film 

Magic, from MPI/Getty Images, by Jon Kopaloff/Film 

Magic, from the Neal Peters Collection, by Frances 

McLaughlin-Gill/Conde Nast Archive, Frank 

Driggs/Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin/Film Magic, 

Mathew Imaging/Film Magic, Gavin Lawrence/Getty 

Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images, from Hulton 

Archive/Getty Images. 

Page 112: From NBC/Globe Photos (Carson, 

Rickles), from Landov (Dangerfield), from Zuma 

Press (Seinfeld, Williams). 

Page 119: From Zuma Press (Barr, Rivers). 

Page 122: From Reuters/Landov (Mac), from 

KPA/Zuma Press (Chappelle, Rock). 

Page 126: Top, from BEImoges; bottom, from 

A.P. Wide World Photos. 

Page 128: From Wre Image. 

Page 132: Production assistance by Route 7 Productions. 

Page 134: Both courtesy of BioMed Plus. 

Page 138: Left and center, from Gary Venema; right, 

screengrab from CBS Channel 4. 

Page 140: Left and far right, from the Florida 

Department of Corrections; all others from the 

Broward County Sheriff's Office. 

Page 144: All screengrabs from CBS Channel 4. 

Page 146: Alberto Rodriguez for Berliner Photography. 

Page 174: Large photograph from Brown Brothers; 

inset courtesy of Nick Tosches. 

Pages 174—90: Fingerprint from David Pietrusza. 

Page 176: Left, from A.P. Wde World Photos; right, 

from Seymour B. Durst Old York Library. 

Page 180: Left, from Brown Brothers; right, from 

The New York Times. 

Page 184: Top, from the Granger Collection; 

bottom, from The New York Times. 

Page 186: Top, from Bettmann Corbis; bottom, 

from Hulton Archive/Getty Images. 

Page 189: From the Museum of the City of New York. 

Page 190: Left, from Bettmann Corbis; right, from 

the New York Daily News. 

Page 193: Jaguar courtesy of Chelsea Cars 


Page 194: By David Buchan/Rex USA (Dylan, right), 

Peter Brooker/Rex USA (LaPaglia), Jules Frazier/ 

PhotoDisc/PictureOuest (salary earners, telemarketers), 

Alexander Gardner/Getty Images (Lincoln), from 

Ingram/PictureOuest (ax), by Peter Kramer/Getty 

Images (Paxton), Ryan McVay/PhotoDisc Green/Getty 

Images (e-mail), from PictureOuest (poison), by Brian 

Rasic/Rex USA (Dylan, left), Joe Sohm/Pan America/ 

PictureOuest (surfers), from C Squared Studios/ 

PhotoDisc/PictureOuest (retirees), from Digital Vision/ 

PictureOuest (heartthrobs). 

Page 196: From the Neal Peters Collection 


Pages 198-205: See credits for cover. 

Page 206: From Sipa Press. 

Page 207: From DPA/Landov. 

Page 208: From Rex Features. 

Page 209: From CB/Oueen/Zuma Press. 

Pages 210-11: From Action Press/lpol/Globe Photos 

(2), from Action Press/Zuma Press (4, 9), from 

Camera Press/Retna (7), from Corbis (8), from 

Gamma (3), from Ipol/Globe Photos (5), from Sipa 

Press (I), from Sphinx/lpol/Globe Photos (6). 

Page 213: Props styled by Nick Tortorici. 

Pages 216-17, 220-21, and 263: Produced on 

location by Tereza Kalova. U.K. production by Jo Matthews. 

Page 219: Clockwise from top: courtesy of the 

Archive of the Tereza Maxova Foundation, courtesy 

of the Archive of the Tereza Maxova Foundation, 

from Getty Images, from Sports Illustrated. 

Page 224: From AFP/The National Archives/Getty 

Images (4); courtesy of Mrs. Jackie Robinson (2, 6). 

Page 267: Left to right, from top, by Zak Brian/ 

Gamma, John Medina/Wire Image, Lawrence 

Jackson/A.P. Wide World Photos, Mark Reinstein/ 

Ipol/Globe Photos, Jane Hale/The Flint Journal/A.?. 

Wide World Photos, Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma Press, 

Janet Gough/Celebrity Photo, Marc Asnin/Saba 

Corbis, Robert Galbraith/Bloomberg News/Landov, 

Dennis Van Tine/Gamma, Jennifer Graylock/A.P. 

Wide World Photos, Chris Kleponis/Zuma Press, 

Manny Ceneta/Getty Images, Leon Borensztein, 

Michael A. Mariant/A.P. Wide World Photos, Steve 

Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images. 


47, NO. 5. VANITY FAIR (ISSN 0733-8899) is published monthly by The Conde Nast Publications, which is a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: The Conde Nast Building, 

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2 5 V A N I T Y FAIR 2 75 



One of the most successful, and 

sometimes controversial, C.E.O.'s in 

corporate history, Jack Welch 

transformed G.E. into a global giant 

during his two-decade tenure. 

More than three years after retiring, 

and with his latest book, Winning 

(which he co-wrote with his wife, Suzy), 

out this month, Welch pauses to 

reflect on phoniness, golf, and opera 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Suzy and a beach. 

What is your greatest fear? 

Losing someone I love. 

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 


Which living person do you most admire? 

President Bush (41). for his character, patriotism, 
and decency. 

What is your greatest extravagance? 

Expensive wine. 

What is your favorite journey? 

From the house to the beach on Nantucket 
in my old red Jeep. 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 

"Waspy" forma'lity. 

Which living person do you most despise? 

Petty, officious bureaucrats everywhere. 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 

"Don't be a victim." 

What or who is the greatest love of your life? 

My wife, Suzy. 

When and where were you happiest? 

The last three years have been the happiest of my life. 

Which talent would you most like to have? 
I wish I had been a great golfer. 

What is your current state of mind? 


If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? 

I wish my mother had lived to see the rest of my story. 

What do you consider your greatest 


That G.E.'s success touched so many lives. 

What is your most treasured possession? 
I've got lots of things— but friends and 
family are all that really count. 

What do you regard as the lowest 
depth of misery? 

Living your life as a fake. 

What is your favorite occupation? 
C.E.O but that's over. 

What is your most marked characteristic? 


What is the quality you most like in a man? 


What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Smart, sexy, and fun. all mixed together. 

What do you most value in your friends? 

The willingness to wallow with me through 
thick and thin. 

Who are your heroes in real life? 

My mother and my friend Si Cathcart, 
who died three years ago. 

What is it that you most dislike? 


How would you like to die? 
Quickly . . . but no time soon. 

What is your motto? 



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.... 154 

154 SEX AND THE SINGLE MOM Angelina Jolie's pc 
of seduction have gotten some press lately, and she h;i | 
admitted to having a couple of lovers on tap. But the i 
important man in her life, she says, is her three-year-oJ 
son. With the upcoming release of Mr. and Mrs. S?nitl^ 
romantic comedy in which Jolie plays opposite Brad I 
(nudge, nudge, wink, wink), Nancy Jo Sales gets a 
surprisingly complex portrait of the 29-year-old star. 
Photographs by Annie Leibovitz. 

162 WRONG MAN, WRONG PLACE An obscure rep<| 
called Jeff Gannon seized his moment in the spotlight [ 
at a White House press conference by asking Presidenl 
Bush a stunningly softball question. Soon liberal bloggj 
had unmasked him as a former gay escort whose real 
name was James Guckert, and were crying conspiracy] 
David Margolick and Richard Gooding dissect 
Gannongate. Photographs by Nigel Parry. 


half a century as a dispassionate, ironic witness, 
photographer Lee Friedlander has dissected every asp< 
of America, re-assembling the landscape in startling ru 
ways. As MoMA opens a massive retrospective of his 
work, Vicki Goldberg chronicles the journey. 

successful Mirage, Bellagio, and Treasure Island casinc 
Steve Wynn became the closest thing to a sure bet on tl 
Strip. As the developer opens his 217-acre, $2.7 billion 
Wynn Las Vegas, Nina Munk learns about the compul: 
betting of his father, the loss of his sight, and the epic vis 
behind his latest gamble. Photographs by Todd Eberle. 

176 ALPHA BROADWAY Lights, curtain, action! 

Norman Jean Roy and Michael Hogan spotlight the 
Hollywood stars who are gunning for Tonys this season 
on the Great White Way. 

178 ROAD TRIP! Adrenaline junkies, start your engines. 
With the seventh annual Gumball 3000 about to depart 
London, V.F. has the scoop from the 2004 event, 
a six-day. two-continent cannonball run of 192 supercai 
and jalopies. Hitching rides from a motley crew of 
playboys, eccentrics, and speed freaks, George Gurley 
discovered the thrill of demolishing the speed limit and 
the horror of watching a crash unfold at 140 m.p.h. 
Photographs by Julian Broad. 


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186 THE FULL TONY Annie Leibovitz and Sam Kashnq 
spotlight Tony Curtis, who's celebrating his 80th as on 
he would dare— in his birthday suit. 

188 SINATRA AND THE MOB Frank Sinatra always 
denied his ties to the Mafia, and neither government 
investigators nor the press could make the rumors 
stick— until now. In an excerpt from their new book, 
Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan finally uncover 
the full extent of the immortal crooner's connections 
with Lucky Luciano and other infamous Mob figures. 




Good ol' boys— The Dukes of Hazzard are back. 
Elissa Schappell reviews Michael Cunningham's 
Specimen Days. Lisa Robinson charts the summer 
music festivals. Ingrid Sischy on Bryan Adams's snapshcj 
for charity; Wayne Lawson on Jock Soto's last dance. 
John Brodie skates Venice with the Lords ofDogtown. 
Bruce Handy recalls My Summer of Love; Henry Alforc] 
on juicy beach reads: The Twins ofTriBeCa and 
The Washingtonienne; Martha's Vineyard celebrates the | 
30th anniversary of Jaws. Edward Helmore goes 
backstage at Jon Robin Baitz's The Paris Letter; 
Leslie Bennetts on the sexy trailer for Gore Vidal's 
Caligula; World Beat. My Stuff: Zac Posen; Hot Looks. 



92 CAUTION: WOMEN SEETHING Harvard president 
Lawrence H. Summers sparked an explosion by 
suggesting "intrinsic aptitude" might explain the shortaj 
of top-ranked women in science and engineering. 
Then the L.A. Times's Michael Kinsley was savaged for 
the lack of female bylines on his op-ed page. James 
Wolcott predicts the battle of the sexes has just begun. 

of legal nightmares, Dominick Dunne takes his diary 
to London, where he hears the royal scuttlebutt, shares 
high society's obsession with the shocking murder 
of financier Edouard Stern, and reflects on the deaths 
of Terri Schiavo and Johnnie Cochran. Photograph 
by Jillian Edelstein. 




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News were truly fair and balanced, would it be as funJ 
watch? While the right enjoys a laugh, Michael Wolff ] 
argues, media liberals have become the new conser 
a stodgy, humorless Ivy League elite. Illustration by 
Ross MacDonald. 

114 FAUST IN THEIR CLASS John Huba and Wayne 
Lawson spotlight the male stars of the Metropolitan 
Opera's Faust, who look as great as they sound. 

116 HE BELIEVED IN MIRACLES John Paul lis death] 
met with countless tributes and commemorations, but| 
one aspect of his legacy got very little play. Focusing o\ 
his extreme faith in the supernatural, John Cornwell 
reveals the damage the late Pope's conservatism infiicti 
on the church he loved. 


Michael Finkel was fired from The New York Times for j 
creating a composite character, he found himself with i 
scoop he could never have invented. In an excerpt from 
upcoming book, Finkel describes his bizarre relationsh 
with a killer, who impersonated him, then gave him bac 
his life. Photograph by Christopher Anderson. 


145 READY FREDDIE Intelligence Report: Secret Societie 
George Wayne meets adman turned chat-show host 
Donny Deutsch. Ed Coaster's Catch-22. 


46 EDITOR'S LETTER The Forgotten War 



62 LETTERS The Ultimate Luxury Model 

90 PLANETARIUM Get some sun, Gemini 




on't change the world. Just the way you look at it 

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Managing Editor CHRIS GARRETT 

Design Director DAVID HARRIS 

Executive Literary Editor WAYNE LAWSON 

Features Editor 1ANE SARKIN 


Editor-at-Large MATTTYRNAUER 

Legal Affairs Editor ROBERT WALSH 

Associate Managing Editor ELLEN KIELL 

Photography Director SUSAN WHITE " 


Director of Special Projects SARA MARKS 

Copy Editor PETER DEVTNE Research Editor JOHN BANT. A 

London Editor HENRY PORTER Senior West Coast Editor KRISTA SMITH 


Writer-at-Large MARIE BRENNER 

Photography Editor LISA BERMAN Art Director JULIE WEISS 


Photography Research Director JEANNE RHODES 

Deputy Art Director CHRIS MUELLER Associate Editor HEATHER HALBERSTADT 


Beauty and Photography Editor SUNHEE C GRTNNELL 

Associate Copy Editor DAVID FENNER Deputy Research Editor MARY FLYNN 

Associate Legal Affairs Editor NATASHA STOVALL 





Senior Photography Producer KATHRYN NUcLEOD Senior Associate Photo Editor SARAH CZEL.ADNICKI 

Senior Photo Research Editor ANN SCHNEIDER Photo Research Editor KATHERINE RANG Photojournalism Editor ROS.ANNA SGUERA 

Editorial Business Manager DOR1 .AMARITO 
Assistant to the Editor MEG NOLAN Senior Editorial Coordinator CAROLYN BIELFELDT 

Senior Fashion Editor MARY F BRAEUN1G Fashion Editor CHRISTINE HAHN 

Editorial Promotions Associate EVA MAOLT Associate Fashion Editor ALIA AHMED-YAHIA 


Senior Art Production Manager CHRISTOPHER GEORGE Copy Production Manager ANDERSON TEPPER 

Production Associates LESLIE HERTZOG. SARAH HAYNES Assistant Copy Editor ADAM NADLER 

Associate Photo Editor SASHA ERWITT Assistant Photo Editor LAN BASCETTA Assistant Editors FRED TURNER. LINDSAY BUCHA 




Associate Editorial Business Manager E1LISH MORLEY Photo Associate JESSICA DIMSON 

Photo Department Coordinator ALEX.A HELSELL Photo Assistant JESSICA CHATFIELD 

Editor, Creative Development DAVID FRIEND 

Contributing Editors 











Contributing Photographers 






Contributing Editor (Los Angeles) WENDY STARK MORR1SSEY 

Contributing Stylists KIVI MEFH.AN. SARAJANE HOARE Contributing Fashion and Jewelry Editor ALEXIS BRYAN 

Contributing Photography Producers RON BEINNER. RICHARD \ 1LLAN1 

Contributing Photography Associate TARAH KENNEDY Contributing U.K. Coordinator CARL GERMANN 

Contributing Production Associate SUSAN M. RASCO Contributing Credits Editor LESLIE ALEXANDER 

Executive Director of Public Relations BETH KSENIAK 

Deputy Director of Public Relations SARA SWITZER 

Assistont ELIZABETH HURLBIT Contributing Associate DARRYX BRANTLEY 

Editorial Director THOMAS J. WALLACE 

36 ] VANITY FAIR J www vonityfair com JUNE 20 

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Estee Lauder makeup artists created 
superstar-inspired looks for guests, who 
entered the "Red Envelope" Sweepstakes 
to win a shopping spree. 


Exclusive Vanity Fair images lined the windows of Saks Fifth 
Avenue. (Dresses on mannequins by Donna Karan.) 

Guests enjoyed complimentary portrait 
drawings at Roberto Coin. 

Prada Fragrance's "Signature Style" event 
featured complimentary bottle engraving. 

Guests viewed clips from award-nominated films and 
received a DVD with their Hugo Boss purchase. 




From February 24 to 26, 2005, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills 

was the site of the ultimate marriage of glitter and glamour in 

celebration of the 77th Annual Academy Awards. Vanity Fair and 

Saks Fifth Avenue hosted "Sab Flash: Fashion Meets Photography 

on the Red Carpet," a series of stunning happenings featuring 

award -worthy shopping experiences and opportunities to get 

"red carpet ready." Over three exciting days, guests enjoyed such 

exclusive events as Hollywood -inspired trunk shows, a live DJ 
playing designer-favorite tunes, informal modeling of captivating 

looks, signature cocktails, an exhibition of memorable 

Vanity Fair photographs, and opportunities to win prizes including 

a film-festival trip and runway-ready outfits and jewelry. 



Ellen Tracy's "Romance on the Red Carpet" 
event included a Vanity Fair photo retrospective 
and readings by a "romance" astrologer. 

Leslie Greene handed out "bling bling" rings, which offered guests 
the chance to win a dazzling piece of fine jewelry. 

Vanity Fair v. jld like to thank the event sponsors: Burberry, Cartier, 
Donna Karan, Ellen Tracy, Estee Lauder, Etro, Hugo Boss, 
Jimmy Choo, John Vcvatos, Judith Leiber, Lacoste, Leslie Greene, 
Moschino, Prada Fraga ice, Roberto Coin, and Teri Jon. 

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Vice President and Publisher LOUIS C ONA 

Associate Publisher, Creative Services ond Marketing HOPE HENING 

Associate Publisher PALL JOWDY 

Advertising Director MARC BERGER 
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Executive Director, Creative Services JANTNE SILVERA 

Executive Marketing Director DANIELLA WELLS 

Business Director MARC LEYER Finance Director JUDY SAFIR 

Executive Beauty Director LUCILLE DURAN 

International Fashion Director MARIA ELLASON 

Fashion and Retail Director PAULA FORTGANG 

Fashion Director EMILY DAVIS 

Jewelry and Watch Director ALAT1A BRADLEY 

Entertainment, Automotive, and Southeast Director JAMIE FRIEDMAN 

New England and Spirits Manager KATHRYN BANINO 

Marketing Director ERIC A. KARP Marketing Manager LIZ HODGES 

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The Forgotten War 

Excuse me, but what ever hap- 
pened to the war in Iraq? You 
remember it, surely. You must- 
it's still going on. It is the war 
that has taken the lives of more 
than 1,550 U.S. troops and an estimat- 
ed 20,000 Iraqi civilians, and caused life- 
altering injuries to more than 6,000 oth- 
er American soldiers and countless more 
Iraqis. It is the "self-financing" war that 
has cost the U.S. upwards of $ 165 bil- 
lion and contributed to a 23 percent in- 
crease in the price of gas since we in- 
vaded Baghdad. It is the war that divid- 
ed our nation, earned the mistrust and animosity of many of our al- 
lies and neighbors, and established Iraq as ground zero for further 
terrorist recruitment. It is the war that was not mentioned once in 
President Bush's 21-minute 2005 inaugural address. And it is the 
war now buried back around page A 12 of The New York Times 
and relegated to the "Iraq Watch" ghetto on the NBC Nightly News, 
sometimes trailing the health update. 

The war is not gone, but, in this land of serial obsessives, it is for- 
gotten. Iraq has been canceled; its 15 minutes are up; it's so last year. 
Six months ago we re-elected a president who ran on the issues of 
national security, the global war on terrorism, and that all-purpose 
right-wing truncheon moral values. So what does the president fo- 
cus on as soon as he's sworn in? So- 
cial Security— about as unpressing an 
issue as you can choose at a time of 
war, looming environmental crisis, 
and ongoing terrorist threat. The rest 
of Washington turned out to be no 
better, dropping just about every- 
thing in order to confront that other 
urgent national emergency: steroid 
use in professional baseball. And 
what did Americans do— they went 
along with it. 

For the more than a quarter of a 
million brave American souls whom 
we have sent over there to do our 
blood work, the war is anything but 
over. It may have disappeared from 
the corridors of power and the front 
pages of the nation's newspapers, but 
in Iraq, in brutal heat and living con- 
ditions, the conflict grinds on. hour 
after horrific hour. During the month 
of March, when the nation's politi- 
cians and news media gorged them- 
selves on the death throes of poor 
Terri Schiavo, 32 more U.S. troops 
were killed in Iraq, and 362 were 

wounded. The truth is, we just dc 
the stomach or the attention s] 
the way we used to. Which m<. I 
should probably get out of the bif 


epublicans have proved the 
so adept at campaigning 
seems as though they are 
chess while the Democrats fiddle 
checkers. And, as Michael Wol 
out in his superb column this 
("No Jokes, Please, We're Liberal. 
106), the Republicans are having 
fun, too. It's almost not fair. In 
time may have come to consider handicapping federal electio| 
way it's done in golf. Karl Rove, the Tiger Woods of America 
itics, a scratch warrior with admirers on both sides of the 
blue-state divide, has not only created in the eyes of America! 
ers a hardened image of Democrats as amoral wusses but ij 
sending out envoys to tamper with his opponents' selection prl 
for the next presidential election. Deploying that old warhorse I 
Gingrich to preach the virtues of a Hillary Clinton candidacjl 
tout her winnability. was a devilish tactic. And the Democrats. ' 
ing by their response, appear to be dumb enough to have fallen i 
You've got to give Republicans credit: they stay focused on the] 
litical wars. It's the real wars they forget about. -GRAYDON C/l 

Tres Jolie 


Angelina Jolie wears a dress 
by Behnaz Sarafpour. Hair 
products by KMS. Makeup product 
by Laura Mercier. Hair by Colin 
Jamison. Makeup by Linda De 
Vetta. Manicure by Elsa Deslande 
Set design by Jean-Hugues de 
Chatillon. Styled by Lori Goldstein 
Photographed exclusively for VF. b\ 
Annie Leibovirz at the Ritz, in Paris, 
on February 27, 2005. 


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On March 21, 2005, Brooks Brothers 

and The Film Foundation joined 

Vanity Fair to host Vanity Fair 

"Reel Talk" at the Directors Guild of 

America in Los Angeles. More than 

500 guests attended the eve 

which featured a special sneak 

preview of Sydney Pollack's latest 

film, The Interpreter, starring Nicole 

Kidman and Sean Penn. Following 

the screening, the journalist Chris 

Connelly moderated a lively 

dialogue with Sydney Pollack. The 

evening concluded with an exclusive 

cocktaii reception, where VIPs had 

the opportunity to mingle with 

Pollack and Connelly. 





Shooting Angelina Jolie 
for this month's cover 
was a family affair for 
contributing photographer 
Having worked with Jolie 
on a previous^shoot, 
Leibovitz was delighted 
this time by the addition 
of Maddox, Jolie's three- 
year-old son, who not 
only enhanced the end 
result but also lightened 
the atmosphere, especially 

since he and Leibovitz's three-year-old daughter became fast friends. Leibov 1 

Jolie. friendly themselves, hope to re-unite down the road when Jolie visits I 

refugee camps across the globe for her work as a goodwill ambassador for the 

Nations High Commissioner for Re 

Executive literary editor 
been with Vanity Fair siij 
relaunch, in 1983, edits 
of VFs best-known writ 
including Dominick Di 
Maureen Orth, Marie Bil 
Bob Colacello, Edward l| 
and John Richardson. 
This month he again edjj 
the work of four other i J 
writers: John Corawell, oj 
Pope John Paul II; Anthl 
Summers and Robbyn Sv\| 
on Sinatra and the Mob: 
and Vicki Goldberg, on 
Lee Friedlander. He also 
wrote a farewell salute to 
retiring New York City B, 
soloist Jock Soto and a Spx 
for the Metropolitan Ope 
new production of Faust. 

JOHN CORN WELL, author of the John Paul II biography The Pontiff in Wintei 

of this month's piece on his legacy, first met the late Pope when Cornwell was in 

to the Vatican to investigate 

the death of John Paul I. 

"After spending six months 

coming and going inside 

the Vatican. I became 

hooked on the institution." 

says Cornwell, a practicing 

Catholic who considers 

himself a "loving critic" of 

the Church. He ha? covered 

Catholic affairs and the ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
papacy for Vanity Fair, and ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

writes regularly for the 
London Sunday Times. He 

an affiliated research mr* 

scholar at Cambridge 

University, where in 1990 

he was elected a fellow 

of Jesus College. 



VANITY FAIR www vanityfair com 






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K.9 . 

'fa at' ^amW 








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In researching her in-depth psychi 
profile of Steve Wynn. which begiij 
page 170. contributing editor NINA 
was given extraordinary access to 
subject. Munk sat in on Wynn's md 
attended a Barry Manilow concertj 
Wynn and his wife, tagged along 
he hit the slopes in Sun Valley, sta; j 
one of his homes, and shared low-J 
meals with him. It's the sort of accl 
a reporter dreams of getting. "WheJ 
I spend enough time with a subjecij 
get to see things he may not want 
see," she explains. Munk's most reel 
book, Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Je\ 
Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL l\ 
Warner, is now available in paperba 
from HarperBusiness. 

Like Angelina Jolie— the 

subject of her cover story this 

month— contributing editor 

NANCY JO SALES understands 

the pleasures and plights of 

being a single mother, having 

raised a daughter alone for four 

years before marrying in 2004. 

"I don't care if you're Angelina 

Jolie or Angie Jones, being 

a single mom is not easy," she 

says. "There is nothing that 

will ground you and bring you 

face-to-face with yourself more 

than a child." Sales appreciated 

the frankness with which Jolie 

spoke about being a single 

woman and new mother. 

"She's a complicated person, 

only further complicated because she is an artist. But with that comes i 
sensitivity. It seems hard for her to separate life from work, but it doesn't mean 
she's doing isn't real. She is committed to her son and passionate about her wt 

Being given the assignment to 
document Gumball Rally 300 
a madcap car rally across 
France. Spain, and Morocco- 
might have unnerved a lot of 
photographers, but not 
JULIAN BROAD, who has 
a penchant for risky business. 
"I race dirt bikes in enduro anc 
supermotard," he says, "so the 
speed aspect I considered a 
pleasure." While shooting from 
the interior of a car is not ideal- 
"There are only so many picture 
of speedometers reading 150 
m.p.h. that one can take"— Broad and writer George Gurley crafted a way to overcon 
the hindrance. "By the end of the trip, I was hanging out of the car at 140 m.p.h 
George holding onto my belt, so that I could shoot the cars we were passing. 
It was all good fun." continued on page I 


JUNE 201 



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On March 20, 2005, the first 

Broadway production of 

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of 

Virginia Woolf? in almost 30 years 

opened at the Longacre Theatre 

in New York City. Directed by 

Anthony Page, the play stars 

Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin as 

Martha and George, one of the 

most famous couples ever written 

for the stage. The caustic, hilarious, 

and moving drama tells the story 

of Martha and George's 

battleground marriage during a 

booze -drenched party for a young 

couple (David Harbour and 

Mireille Enos). Who's Afraid of 

Virginia Woolf? debuted in 1962 

and won Edward Albee his first 

Tony Award. For tickets, call at 212-239-6200 



Writing the titles and 

introductions for every 

article in Vanity Fair each 

month has become, for 

contributing editor 


a little like composing haiku. 

"It's a challenge to sell a 

piece in so few words," 

she confesses, "but 

I have the greatest job in 

the world because I'm 

getting paid to be a V.F. 

reader myself." Lately, 

O'Shaughnessy— who was 

executive editor of this 

magazine from 1992 to 

1997— has been doubling as 

editor in chief of the fledgling Tango magazine, which premiered in Februar 

dedicated to relationships. "There is a magazine for nearly everything but lovd 

O'Shaughnessy. "We want to reflect the central role of relationships in women - ' 

Before joining the playboys, adrerl 
junkies, and celebrities to bravel 
last year's Gumball Rally 3000,1 
GEORGE GURLEY had never drl 
faster than 90 m.p.h. He was fol 
to learn about life in the fast larj 
rather quickly. "After six hours 
or so, I got used to being in a cj 
going 150 m.p.h.," Gurley says, 
that, 80 m.p.h. felt slow. Back h| 
in Manhattan, I recall being in 
a taxi going 30 m.p.h., and reallj 
missing Gumball." Sitting shotgi| 
during one of the world's most 
extreme races has Gurley consid] 
another round. "One of the 
organization's slogans is 'GumbaJ 
3000 Gives You Balls.' I think I 
need to get them back before I d\ 
it again." 


written biographies of Marilyn 

Monroe, J. Edgar Hoover. 

and Presidents John F. Kennedy and 

Richard Nixon, collaborated with his 

wife. ROBBYN SWAN, on Sinatra: 

The Life, excerpted on page 178. The 

couple live in Ireland. Summers first 

met Swan when he hired her for "two 

weeks' research"— three books, three 

children, and 15 vears ago. Clearly, 

the collaboration has worked. "I used 

to think love and labor didn't mix. 

I was so wrong!." Summers says. 

"He's relentless, and it's a good thing 

I love the thrill of the chase as much 

as he does," adds Swan. Their 

biography of the notoriously private 

Sinatra, out this month from Knopf, 

has been four years in the making. 


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For contributing edito^ 

the most fascinating 
of the Jeff Gannon sa 
that it could not have 
before the rise of the IJ 
and blogs. But as a vetj 
'"old media" reporter ( f 
at The New York Timesl 
almost a decade at Vam\ 
Margolick recognized I 
increasingly foul politic! 
climate was just as inteij 
to the story as changing 
technology. "The kind i! 
frustration and anger pt 
on both sides feel aboutl 
political process and the 
media is something new] 
says. "Anger at the mainl 
media's treatment of the! 
president drove Jeff Gar 
while left-wing bloggers- 
convinced that journalists are giving the Bush administration a free pass— were driv< 
to unmask him." In September, Knopf will publish Margolick's book Beyond Gh\ 
Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink. 

Having worked for 30 years in New 
York as a newspaper editor and now an 
investigative journalist, RICHARD GOODING 
knows a bit about reporting. But he 
found it difficult to uncover the enigmatic 
past of controversial reporter Jeff Gannon, 
the former male escort who somehow 
became a house favorite at Bush- 
administration press conferences -and a 
favorite subject for online conspiracy 
theorists. "It may just be that he stumbled 
into notoriety and there's no conspiracy 
behind it," Gooding admits, "but I know 
from experience that the Bush team is 
expert at covering its tracks." 

As MICHAEL FINKEL discovered in 2002, 
redemption can be a bittersweet experience. 
The same week that he was fired from The A 
York Times, Finkel learned that a man name 
Christian Longo, who was wanted for 
murdering his wife and three children, had 
been captured in Mexico, where he'd been 
posing as Times reporter Michael Finkel. Th 
real Finkel sent Longo a letter, and the two 
embarked on a bizarre and wholly unpredicta 
correspondence. True Story; excerpted on pa, 
126 and due out later this month from 
HarperCollins, is the chronicle of how their 
lives became entwined. "On one hand, here 
was this charismatic, intelligent man who 
seemed willing to explore the roots of his 
crime." says Finkel. "On the other, here was 
a guy who'd likely murdered his own family. Tl 
project was like a life raft, but three years late 
I'm still haunted by the experience." 



JUNE 20 




ra m. 

Star Time 


Not every photo shoot with actors descends 
into a Desperate Housewives-style war over 
who gets the best bathing suit. The group of 
29 screen actors now on Broadway gave 
one stellar performance at Pier 59 Studios 
for photographer Norman Jean Roy and the dozens of 
V.F. staffers and crew members in attendance. Shoptalk 
went well beyond the usual agent-ditching stuff: Liev 
Schreiber (starring in Glengarry Glen Ross) and Bill 
Irwin deconstructed playwright David Mamet's 
language, while Billy Crystal and John C. Reilly (the 
new Stanley Kowalski) talked A Streetcar Named 
Desire. Mostly, the actors passed the long hours by 
being funny. Hank Azaria trotted out his favorite 
impressions, including •'Spartacus." the gay butler 
from The Birdcage. Delta Burke, no fan of high 
heels, scooted this way and that— sideways— 
in three-inch stilettos. And Crystal, at five and 
a half feet, a relative peanut in the company of 
John Lithgow. Alan Alda, Jeff Goldblum, and 
Schreiber (median height: six feet 

three), climbed up on the couch to 
give out hugs. — EVGENIA PERETZ 


VW ^ 



60 VANITY FAIR www vonifyfoir c 

4*iAk 'ViU*** k*bs t 

JUNE 2005 




Van Cleef & Arpels 




Kimora leaves a bad impression; extolling Novak's generosity; go, Bunny, go; 
celebrating Nan Kempner; the unsung Red Sox M.V.P.; and more 

was incensed by Kimora Lee Sim- 
mons's materialism, her selfish atti- 
tude, and her ego ["Unbearable Fab- 
ulosity," by Nancy Jo Sales, April]. It 
makes me sick to think that she has the 
power, in the form of money, to broadcast 
her particular brand of ignorance to the 
world. I am a professional on active duty 
in the military, currently serving in the 
Middle East. What I make in a year she 
spends in an afternoon. It's not the mon- 
ey, though. It's the fact that her behavior 
reinforces the stereotype of the greedy. 

uneducated American that people in this 
part of the world love to hate. 

Toobli, Bahrain 

AFTER READING "Unbearable Fabu- 
losity." I was once again reminded that 
money does not buy class. Kimora Lee 
Simmons is a fabulously successful woman 
who has the potential to be a role model 
and to encourage other women to follow 
their creative dreams. However, she seems 
to have m ssed the point that it is not 

the clothes or the possessions that give 
woman her class. It's grace, politenes 
good manners, and humility. 

Kitchener. Ontari 



'.vonityfoir com 

I ADMIRE Ms. Simmons's "I am woman 
hear me roar" approach to life. And if shi 
is an excellent mother, as her husband con 
tends, well, there's no greater achievement 
But her obsession with money and the ma 
terial world is anything but admirable. 
Wealth and possessions are the com- 

JUNE 200; 

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So log on to for 
sparkling commentary, hot news, 

and party pictures, plus the 

inside track on new films, books, 

music, and events. 

From James Wolcott's 

must-read blog to the 

"Daily Dose" of must-click links 

(to vital sites for gossip, 

news, culture, and opinion), 

from Michael Lutin's horoscope 

to a freewheeling online 

forum, has 

gathered all the style, all the 

dish, and all the fun on 

one A-list site. 


panions of choice in today's America. 
They don't reject you, they won't abandon 
you, they can't hurt your feelings. They are 
safe. But a mindful consideration of their 
value leads to the undeniable conclusion 
that wealth and possessions are a poor 
substitute for what really matters in life. 

It is only through connections with liv- 
ing beings and a sense of contribution to 
the world that one truly nourishes the soul. 
Ms. Simmons's husband seems to be hip 
to this truth. Perhaps, with time, Kimora 
will find the same enlightenment. 

New York, New York 

IN A WORLD where celebrities often claim 
that their personal lives are without flaws 
or drama, Kimora Lee Simmons's honesty 
was refreshing. However, if Kimora and 
Russell do not want their children to grow 
up to be, as she put it, assholes, then they 
need to stop acting like assholes them- 
selves. Opulence and class are not mutu- 
ally exclusive! 

Brooklyn, New York 

KIMORA LEE SIMMONS: so rich, so fa- 
mous, such atrocious English! 

Kirkwood. Missouri 

I THINK it is morally reprehensible that 
Kimora Lee Simmons compared herself 
to Coretta Scott King. Despite being half 
African-American, Kimora has never cham- 
pioned the rights of anyone other than 
herself. Not only does she display her im- 
maturity and insecurities throughout the 
interview, she hardly makes a case for her- 
self as a worthwhile icon by repeatedly 
threatening to "beat a bitch's ass." 

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina 

I AM a 26-year-old woman who has strug- 
gled with anorexia for 10 years. After three 
hospitalizations and some intense therapy, 
I have been in recovery for eight years now. 
As a recovering anorexic, I was offended 
and outraged after reading the article on 
Kimora Lee Simmons. 

She states, "I am anorexic My doc- 
tor says it's having an unhealthy relation- 
ship with food." If that's the definition of 
anorexia, then almost every American 
would be anorexic. This eating disorder is 
a serious, life-threatening, psychologically 
complex disease that is difficult to under- 
stand and treat. Yet Ms. Simmons speaks 
about it as if she has caught the common 
cold and will get over it with some advice 
from a nutritionist. Trust me, it's not that 
simple— for the anorexic or his/her family. 

From this article, it is clear that Ms. 

Simmons has self-confidence andl 
esteem, traits anorexics typically lat 
she really understood the depths of ; 
ia, I don't believe she would admit t\ 
ing one. Those of us who are suffering ] 
this disorder keep it very secret, since 
of us feel ashamed or guilty for whi 
put our families through. 

Lastly, posing poolside in a swimsi| 
something most anorexics would not 
Kentfield. Ca 


NO DOUBT Vanity Fair set out to ab 
Robert Novak with its April story "Wi 
About Novak?" [by David Margolin 
but the magazine ended up abusing 

Vanity Fair clings to the fiction t 
Joseph Wilson is a credible figure, fl 
you taken the time to examine the Jul 
2004, Report on the U.S. Intelligence G 
munity's Prewar Intelligence Assessments 
Iraq, prepared by the Select Committee 
Intelligence of the U.S. Senate, you wo^ 
have found that Wilson engaged in fal 
hoods at every turn. 

The committee found that Wilson li 
when he claimed time and again that 
wife, Valerie Plame, did not propose h 
for the mission to Niger. The report lea^ 
no doubt that Plame did propose to t 
C.I.A. that her husband travel to Afri 
to look into what she called "this era 
report" about Iraq's interest in obtaini 
uranium from Niger. This was the key d 
closure in Novak's original column, wr 
ten to explain why a Bush critic with no c 
pertise in weapons of mass destruction w 
chosen for this mission. 

Wilson wrote an op-ed for 77?^ New Yo, 
Times claiming his trip had debunke 
claims that Iraq had sought "yellowcake 
uranium in Niger. The intelligence commi 
tee found that Wilson had actually turne 
up evidence supporting the claim. And th 
committee caught Wilson misleading 
Washington Post reporter about this cor 

Everything Novak wrote about the cas' 
has proved to be true— no surprise to u 
at the Chicago Sun-Times, his home news 
paper, who have long been familiar witl 
his journalistic excellence. The upshot o 
his reporting was to reveal that a political 
ly motivated C.I.A. employee used the in 
telligence agency to try to influence do 
mestic political debate, something that a 
reasonable person could see as a troubling 
abuse of her position. 

Yet Vanity Fair seems more interested 
in protecting Joseph Wilson from his lies 

64 J VANITY FAIR | www.vanilyfoir con 

JUNE 2005 


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than in protecting the right of its readers 
to the truth. And the truth in this case 
serves Novak well. 


Editorial-page editor. Chicago Sun-Times 

Chicago. Illinois 

vak, David Margolick overlooked one en- 
during trait of Washington's "Prince of 
Darkness"— his generosity. Mr. Novak raises 
tons of money every year for charity, has 
served on the boards of nonprofit organi- 
zations, and does much more for others 
without any fanfare. When I was a cub re- 
porter for him in the mid-90s. he consis- 
tently went out of his way to introduce me 
to political heavyweights to help boost 
my fledgling career. There is a genuinely 
thoughtful and gentle man behind the car- 
icature of a conservative caveman. 

Alexandria, Virginia 

I APPLAUD David Margolick for his well- 
rounded profile of columnist Robert No- 
vak. However, his effort to relay anything 
admirable about the man fell dramatically 
short. While commitment and strength are 
indeed admirable, selfishness, arrogance, 
and downright hatefulness do not a wor- 
th) man make. Novak has remained un- 
scathed all these years because everybody 

hates him and he hates everybody right 
back. That's a formula for longevity, but 
it's also a prescription to take everything 
he says with a grain of salt. 

Arlington. Virginia 


I JUST FINISHED reading your excellent 
report on Halliburton ["Oh! What a Lu- 
crative War," by Michael Shnayerson, April], 
and I wonder, Is this government any dif- 
ferent from that of a corrupt banana re- 

Miami. Florida 

I KNEW Bunny Greenhouse when we were 
both Department of Defense contracting 
specialists in the 1980s. The Bunny I know- 
is incredibly dedicated to her profession and 
committed to the integrity of the defense- 
procurement system. I admire her courage 
in the face of opposition on all sides from 
her military superiors, who ultimately an- 
swer to the administration. 

Eufaula, Alabama 

WHILE READING the article about Hal- 
liburton, I could only shake my head in 


Whistle-blower Bunnatine 
Greenhouse, photographed on 
February 2, 2005. 

disgust. Bunny Greenhouse is the 
casualty among the ranks of gover 
workers who have had the temerity to 
out corruption. I wish her success ii 
fight against those who seek to silence 
Conscientious government workers. 
Ms. Greenhouse, are the public's onh| 
fense against the trend of backroom 
ing in Washington. 



I WAS THRILLED to read the article on 
Kempner ["Nan in Full," by Bob ColacJ 
April], the real-life inspiration for the 
Cattrall role in the movie version of 
Bonfire of the Uinities. This story about j 
unique take on life and her incredible se 
of style reflects well on your magazine.J 

C. D. MOM 
Washington. ll 

I CANNOT DECIDE whether Nan is: the 
of the party, a fashion icon, hostess 
preme, or all of the above! 


HOW SAD that you wasted precious pa 
writing about Nan Kempner. She is a n 
socialite who will best be remembered 
what? Her clothes? Her aversion to f; 
Why would anyone want to applaud a 1 
so artificial? Try writing about worn 
whom we can look up to. 

Palm Harbor. Flon 

THANK YOU for the wonderful piece i 
Nan Kempner, the classiest style icon ali\ 
It was the perfect cure for the nausea I 
perienced after reading the article on K 
mora Lee Simmons and her nouveau ric 

Nashville, Tennesst 

mons and Nan Kempner was brilliani 
Kimora Lee is the hip-hop counterpart 
Nan: they are compulsively acquisitive, nai 
cissistic. rich women married to men witl 
roving eyes! 

New York. New Yor 


THANK GOD someone finally acknowi 
edged Dave Roberts's contribution to the 
Red Sox' triumph ["One Miracle Season." 
by Seth Mnookin. April]. In the weeks and 



JUNE 2005 













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months following the World Series. I read 
the sports magazines that recounted Bos- 
ton's unlikely comeback victory, and there 
was never much, if any. mention of the 
man who stole the base that was an instru- 
mental part of the Sox' cascade of suc- 
cess. I should have known it would be Van- 
ity Fair that would come through for Mr. 
Roberts by giving him two paragraphs' 
worth of credit. 

New York. New York 


LIZ RICHARDSON reaches a level of sub- 
limity in her essay "My American Home" 
[April]. As a writer who entered Vanity 
Fair's essay contest, I can attest to the mon- 
umental challenge I felt in trying to capture 
the sentiments of all Americans without 
prescribing my given slant or holding them 
hostage to my own experiences or station. 
Congratulations to Ms. Richardson for giv- 
ing us a lively but elegantly selfless pres- 
entation of the American spirit. I am hon- 
ored to have been in her company on this. 
Livermore. California 


SIENNA MILLER LISTS "anything ... 
animal-related*' as one of her favorite causes 
["The 2005 International Best-Dressed 
List.*' April]. I may be wrong, but it ap- 
pears that she is wearing a fur vest and 
leather boots and is carrying a leather bag. 
Is her cause the furtherance of animals' 
being used for clothing and accessories? 
West Hollywood, California 

IN 1991 , I had the good fortune of being 
an audience member at a taping of The 
Oprah Winfrey Show. During a commer- 
cial break. I told Oprah that she had a 
very noticeable wrinkle in her panty hose 
around her ankle. She laughed and told 
me that they were "cheap stockings'" from 
Walgreens! At the end of the break— and 
all in good fun— she embarrassed me on na- 
tional television for making the comment. 
Oprah has come a long way since then, and 
I will always believe, in some small way, I 
helped her make the 2005 International 
Best-Dressed List! 

Vlsalia, California 

I SEE that your International Best-Dressed 
List does not include British soccer star 
David Beckham. V not? He is the most 

fashionable and trendsetting person 
planet! Ask any of the Brits on your 
name three people whose fashion influj 
or inspires them and I guarantee that 
them will mention David Beckham! 

Boston. Massach 

EDITOR'S REPLY: Ms. Rourke, you x\ 
pleased to know that David Beckham was i 
to the International Best-Dressed List in A 


ALTHOUGH I AGREE wholeheartedly 
Graydon Carter's editorial ["We GJ 
Whole Lot of Trouble . . . ." April]. c{ 
bating global warming will take much 
than Bush signing the. Kyoto Protocol, 
going to take the conscious effort of evl 
single American consumer to use m{ 
less energy. We need to drive as little 
possible and drive only fuel-efficient v^ 
cles. That will never happen. 

Here in Phoenix, where the surroud 
ing natural desert is plowed under daily] 
make way for new strip malls and whi 
gas-powered leaf blowers drone from dai 
to dusk, the average family car is a Qu| 
Cab four-wheel-drive pickup truck. 

The prevailing "wisdom" here is trl 
global warming is a liberal-media hoJ 
One fellow even said to me that the reasl 
so many Europeans died in the lethal he! 
wave of 2003 was that "Europeans are h\ 
stupid to install air-conditioning." 

The environment is doomed. 

Phoenix. Arizod 


IN "The Sporting Life" [by Kristina Stewar 
April], you stated with excruciating glibnes 
that the "Football Association Cup Final 
the European soccer hooligan's highlight o 
the year." Just to let you know, in the 133 
year history of the FA. Cup Final, hoo 
liganism has never marred the event. 

Montpellier. Franc( 

Letters to the editor should be sent electroni- 
cally with the writer's name, address, and day- 
time phone number to Letters 
to the editor will also be accepted via fax at 
212-286-4324. All requests for back issues 
should be sent to All 
other queries should be sent to 
The magazine reserves the right to edit sub- 
missions, which may be published or otherwise 
used in any medium. All submissions become 
the property of Vanity Fair. 



JUNE 20 


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However unwarranted, improvements were made. 




50 Days in the Life of the Culture 

June 2005 









WhiAJlia Dixie, 

Rev up the General Lee. The Dukes of Hazzard, 

starring Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, 

and Johnny Knoxville, opens this month. The cast 

was photographed on location in Louisiana -' 

on December 8, 2004. 

, E 2 5 


www. vanity | VANITY FAIR | 71 





HAIL McQueen. The Essence of Cool, a 
documentary on Hollywood rebel Steve 
McQueen, airs tonight on Turner Classic Movies. 

GET there. Don't miss sculptor Martha Posner's exhibition 
"Memory and Desire" at the Heidi Cho Gallery, in N.Y.C. It closes 
in two days. 

SURVEY photographs by Jillian Edelstein at her solo exhibition 
"Intimate and Unseen," which displays a selection of her portraits 
from the last two decades, at the Tom Blau Gallery, in London. 

TAKE to the streets of West Hollywood. The Avenues of Art & 
Design hosts the eighth annual Art & Design Walk, displaying the 
latest trends in art, fashion, and design. 

RELIVE a big life. For its 50th anniversary, the 
Clark Art Institute, in the Berkshires, showcases 
Jacques-Louis David's paintings of Napoleon. 

TUNE in. The A/ Franken Show, a televised 
version of the political humorist's Air America 
Radio program, returns to the Sundance Channe 

CHANGE colors. It's not all yellow anymore. Coldplay 
releases its long-awaited third album, X&Y. 

RECOGNIZE the healing power of the arts and support Free 
Arts NYC's Annual Art Auction Benefit this evening at Phillips, de 
Pury & Company. 


END your evening at Grant Park. The annual 
four-day-long Chicago Blues Festival kicks off 

SADDLE up on your sofa. Into the West, the TNT 
mini-series from executive producer and Hollywood 
gunslinger Steven Spielberg, premieres tonight. 

ROCK out to Canada's hottest bands at the North by 
Northeast Music and Film Festival, in Toronto. Who says that 
all Canadians are restrained? 

DISPLAY your flower power. The Haight 
Ashbury Street Fair takes place today at San 
Francisco's famous intersection. 

^^^ SING "Happy Birthday" twice. Multi- 

Juk^ I millionaire twins Mary-Kate and 
Ashley Olsen turn 19 today. 

RE-UNITE with an old friend this summer. David Schwimmer 
makes his West End debut in Neil La Bute's Some Girl(s), at the 
Gielgud Theatre, in London. 

IMAGINE you're in the British countryside as you check out the 
exhibition of landscape paintings, photographs, and sculptures 
opening today at the Tate Britain, in London. 



REMEMBER Rudolf Nureyev tonight as ABT performs 
Perrouchlca, a piece about Russian hardship. Nureyev defected 
from the Soviet Union on this day in 1961. 


PARTY like an animal. The Greater Los Angeles 
Zoo Association holds its 35th annual Beastly 
Ball fund-raiser tomorrow. 

CHOW down and rev up. Devour chef Jeffrey Vigilla's grill 
grub while gawking at Mercedes-Benz's newest cars at the Ritz- 
Carlton's BBQ & Benz Bash, in Key Biscayne, Florida. 

GIVE thanks to Dad. 
Today is Father's Day. 

SUPPORT the arts. Hundreds of New York City schoolchildren 
from the National Dance Institute perform It's All Relative at 
LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. 

PLAY your favorite Beach Boys tunes and go on 
a Surfin' Safari with those lovely California Girls. 
It's the first day of summer. 

EAT well on a budget. It's Restaurant Week 
in Manhattan. 

RECOGNIZE an American revolutionary. 

The Whitney's retrospective of artist Robert Smithson, featuring 

more than 150 of his works, opens today in N.Y.C. 

BASK in the glow of music at twilight at the 2005 opening night of 
the Hollywood Bowl, with Trisha Yearwood, the Hollywood Bowl 
Orchestra, and a special tribute to Frank Sinatra. 

HOP into your Batmobile and 
buckle up. Barman Begins is now in 
movie theaters. 

ERECT a skyscraper. Or just celebrate the final day of London's 
Architecture Week 2005, a series of events, including one to 
raise money for the homeless. 

SWING from one of Dale Chihuly's monumental 
chandeliers into a retrospective of the glass-meister's 
work, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. 

PIECE it together. Melanie Pullen's controversial 

photographs, which depict crime scenes re-staged in 

haute couture, are on display at the Ace Gallery, in Los Angeles. 

PACK a cooler for your next beach trip. Brazil's favorite 
beer, Brahma, has come to the States. Cheers! 

MAKE an offer they can't refuse. Christie's auctions off 
250 lots of Marlon Brando's personal belongings today, 
including his copy of the script of The Godfather. 



JUNE 2005 

s e Collection. Clous Rings. 

lusively in Louis Vuilton stores. 866 VUITTON 



Twin Brothers Tulsi and Basant, 

Famous Circus, Calcutta, India, 1989, 

by Mary Ellen Marie. Below right, 

a tape from Mix Tape: The Art of 

Cassette Culture, edited 

by Thurston Moore. 


# 1 

Dysfunction junction, what's your function? Simon Doonon, the 
creative director at Barneys New York, gets Nasty (Simon & Schuster), 
shaking the nuts and "glamorous varmints" out of his beloved if slight- 
ly twisted family tree. Half man. half biscuit? Not so far-fetched— in 
The Geneticist Who Played Hoops with My DNA (Morrow), David 
Ewing turns a scarily bright light on the exploding frontiers of 
biotechnology and genetic engineering, from stem-cell research to 

cloning to finding cures for deadly diseases. In Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (Harcourt), an aging bookdealer awakenJ 
find he has instant recall of every plot of every novel he's ever read, every line of poetry, yet his own life story, including his name, is lost to him. So 
gins his quest through the detritus of his past— old newspapers, comics, diaries, and photographs— in search of the face of his first true love, which! 

believes holds the key to his identity. Robert Trachtenberg's Wlien I Knew (ReganBooks) collects essays from gay i 
and women on that eureka moment when they discovered the object of their loins' desire. There's no business like sh 
business! Larry McMurtry captures the larger-than-life lives of Wild West icons Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, or '. 
Colonel and the Little Missie (Simon & Schuster). The hero of Paul Theroux's Blinding Light (Houghton Mifflin \ 
a one-hit-wonder author of a cult classic who discovers a rare hallucinogenic drug that dissolves his writer's block, 1 
leaves him with periodic bouts of blindness. Saucy lad-book author Nick Hornby's marvy new novel is A L<>\ 
Way Down (Riverhead). After packing her two kids off to summer camp, the hero- 
ine of Lisa Grunwald's Whatever Makes You Happy (Random House) embarks on 
a quest to discover joy. In Reynolds Price's The Good Priest's Son (Scribner), the 
9/11 attacks not only decimate a man's home but reduce the rest of his seemingly 
unchanged life to a psychic ground zero. Paranoia, small-mindedness, mass hyste- 
ria, Martians! The great H. G. Wells sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds (New York 
Review of Books) is being reissued with illustrations by the master of cheerful mor- 
bidity, Edward Gorey. Right now, I think nothing short of an alien invasion could unite this dysfunctional con 

try of ours. Or maybe I'm just paranoid, smalkninde<| 
and hysterical. 

Also appearing on shelves this month: MichaJ 
Eisner's Camp (Warner), Gigi Levongie Grazer's Mm 
ibu Shocker (Simon & Schuster), Thurston Moore's Affl| 
Tape (Universe), Daniel Fuchs's The Golden W 
(Black Sparrow), V.F. contributing editor Christopt 
Hitchens's Thomas Jefferson (HarperCollins), Mar 
Ellen Mark's Exposure ( Phaidon I. Amanda FilipaccMl 
Love Creeps (St. Martin's), Kristoffer A. Garin'sl 
Devils in the Deep Blue Sea (Viking), Sam Stagg's| 
When Blanche Met Brando (St. Martin's), Marior 
McEvoy's Glue Gun Decor (Stewart, Tabori & Chang),! 
Jade Albert and Ki Hackney's The Charm ofCharmsl 
(Abrams), Frederic Morton's Runaway Waltz (Simon] 
& Schuster), and Joy Nicholson's The Road to Esmer-\ 
alda (St. Martin's). 




ter Hours 


celebrate myself, / And what I assume you shall 
assume, / For every atom belonging to me, as 
>od belongs to you." So sings the quintessential!/ 
American poet Walt Whitman, the muse of Michael 
om's Specimen Days (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a novel-in-three-novellas. 
In the same way that the spirit of Virginia Woolf infused Cunningham's The Hours, 
the Pulitzer Prize-winning triptych inspired by Mrs. Dalloway (Nicole Kidman, in a 
much-ballyhooed prosthetic nose, took home the Oscar for her role as Woolf in the 
movie version), the earthy, Everyman-loving Whitman and his 19th-century masterwork 
leaves of Gross inform Specimen Days. 

Set in New York City, where Whitman spent his youth, the book follows a recurring 
trio— a man, a woman, and a boy-as they travel through the city of the past, present, 
and future, and, remarkably, across genres. The first section, set at the dawn of the 
Industrial Revolution, is a ghost story, or rather a ghost-in-the-machine story; the sec- 
ond, set in a post-9/1 1 N.Y.C., is a detective story in which mysterious child 'errorists 
are detonating bombs across ' y; and, finally, the three materialize in a futur- 

istic Big Apple teeming with li matures. 

Whitman, himself bearded and p s boots and trademark floppy hat, 

makes a sparkling cameo ("Stout c aughty, electrical, / I and 

this mystery, here we stand"), but and lines from Leaves of 

Grass— whether intoned by a pumpkin-headed bSLscrawled on walls by a pint-size 
bomber, or erupting out of the mouth of a nugger-rhat imbues 

Specimen Days with a sense of wonder and r M 


Lisa Grunvald. 


n New York City 

March 25 


JUNE 200. 












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> * 



The quintessential rocle 

festival. Woodstock, 1969. 

Below, the Dave Matthews 

Band; Coldplay. 

Cai nival, mud puddle, or drunken spree, the rock festival is a quaint summer ritual j 
has stubbornly endured for 37 years. Here, from Memorial Day through Labor 
some of the best 

Fresh air guitar This generations tie-dye, patchouli set will flock to the fourth an 
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to see the Dave Matthews Band, Widespr 
Panic, the Black Crowes, Alison Krauss, Modest Mouse, Joss Stone, the 
Volta, My Morning Jacket, Rilo Kiley, the Allman Brothers, De La Soul, and I 
more, including, in a special late-night 
show, Trey Anastasio. On a 700-acre 
farm in the middle of nowhere, in Man- 
chester, Tennessee (60 miles from Nash- 
ville). Bonnaroo— a Creole term mean- 
ing "really good stuff"— is the closest in 
spirit to the 90s jam-band H.O.R.D.E. 
Festival. In addition to the six stages, 
all-night music, and campsites, there 
will be hippie merchants, e-mail tents, 
and an expected attendance of up to 
90,000 jokers, smokers, and midnight 
tokers. Tickets for the three-day event 
range from $146.50 (sold out) to 
$ 1,077.50 for a pair of V.I. P. passes that 
get you into the V.I. P. entrance, special 
shower facilities (why bother?), a V.I. P. 

pre-event party, the VI. P. tent, and a special viewing deck. For more info: 

Hello, Cleveland: Hard to believe, but it's the 10th anniversary of Ozzfest— the brainchild of Sharon 
Osbourne, who named it after her husband six years before she and Ozzy invited people in to observe 
their private life on MTV. Now, after we've watched their family drama— a life-threatening illness, a 
near-fatal accident, the kids' drug problems, as well as the dubious distinction of being acknowledged 
by the president of the United States— they're back with this year's lineup: Black Sabbath, Iron 
Maiden, Rob Zombie, and others of the heavy-metal persuasion. It travels to 26 cities from July 15 

to September 4. For more info: 

White riot: For those inclined toward crunchy Southern 
California punk, the Vans Warped Tour, with headliner Offspring 
and others, including My Chemical Romance, the Explosion, 

Transplants (with Rancid's Tim 
Armstrong and Blink 182's Travis 
Barker), and Fivespeed, travels 
around the country from June 18 
to August 15. For more info: 

The stately bands of England: 


In 1991, Perry Farrell created 
Lollapalooza, the groovy jamboree 
that lasted seven years with alternate 
acts such as Jane's Addiction, 
Ice-T, Ministry, Soundgarden, and 
Sonic Youth. After last year's 
cancellation due to poor ticket sales, 
Farrell brings it back to Chicago's 
Grant Park on July 23 and 24, 
with a lineup that includes himself, 
the Pixies, Weezer, the Black 
Keys, G. Love, Kasabian, Kaiser 
Chiefs, the Brian Jonestown 
Massacre, and Widespread Panic. 
Plans are for four main stages, a danc 
stage, and— reflecting the ages of the 
original Lolla-goers— a "family 
friendly" kids area and stage. Tickets 
for the two days are $80. For more 

In the U.K., multi-day rockfests 
are ever popular, so for those planning to travel, Roxy Music will 
re-form for the Isle of Wight festival, June 10 to 12. Others on the 
bill include Morrissey, Snow Patrol, f nd R.E.M. That same 
weekend, at Donington Park, in Derby. Garbage headlines the 
Download Festival, along with System of a Down, Velvet Revolver, Black Sabbath, and more. Coldplay | 
and the White Stripes head up the Glastonbury Festival June 24 to 26, and the Pixies, the Killers, Queens of j 
the Stone Age, Kasabian, Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Iggy and the Stooges, and many more will perform 
at both the Reading and Leeds festivals August 26 to 28. 

It's not a festival, but those who want hip-hop can catch Eminem and 50 Cent— with Lil Jon, DI2, G Unit, and 
Obie Trice— on tour in the U.S. Also, rumor has it that the gold standard of garage bands will be back on the boards 
this summer— watch for new s soon about the Rolling Stones. 

Le bon temps roule. 



vonityfoir com 

JUNE 2005 

The new Jetta. 

It's all grown up 

Drivers wanted! \VJgjJ 



Girls on Film 


; i» «* 



Clockwise from above: 

Amanda Hearst, 

Aerin Lauder, Stephanie] 

Seymour, and Katie Holme 

The title of one of Bryan 
Adams's biggest hits, 
"(Everything I Do) I Do It for 
You," could double as the 
backstory for the rocker's 
plunge into photography. It all 
began in 1 998, when a dear friend of 
his was going through treatment for breast 
cancer and felt self-conscious about 
her appearance. Adams took a picture of 
her so she could see that she looked 
terrific. This led to the idea for a book that 
would raise money for treatment of the 
disease as well as research to find a cure. 
His friend didn't make it, but with her 

always in mind, Adams turned that loss into a seven-year commitment, 
shooting photographs of women that could serve his goal of helping in| 
the race against breast cancer. Now comes 
American Women, his most ambitious project 
in the name of the cause; sponsored by Calvin 
Klein, the publication includes photographs 
of a variety of mostly public figures, from 
Serena Williams to Hillary Clinton, and 
all proceeds will go to the Memorial Sloan- 
Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The 
shots are direct and unpretentious. Tina 
Turner expresses her inner diva. Jennifer 
Aniston throws a little attitude. Hilary Swank 
exudes gravitas. Katie Holmes, with bangs 
obscuring one eye, lets her soul out through the other. Asked if there was some quality that united 
all these American women, Adams answered, "Confidence." He also remembered one of his 
friend's last e-mails to him: "We need to sell more books." So true. — INGRID SISCHY 

Curtain Call 


n June 1 9 one of the dance world's golden favorites, the inimitable Jock Soto, retires from the 
stage of the New York City Ballet with a tribute program in which he will dance five principal ports. 
Chosen for the company by the late, incomparable George Balanchine himself, Soto, whose mother is 
pure Navajo and whose father is Puerto Rican, made his debut in 1981, at the age of 15. Since then he 
has danced in more than 100 works and been a major inspiration for a number of leading choreogra- 
phers, including Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner, and Christopher Wheeldon. Not 
just an exquisite soloist, Soto quickly established himself as the troupe's pre-eminent dance partner, most 
memorably for Heather Watts, Darci Kistler, Wendy Whelan, and Miranda Weese. Away from 
the stage, he became a handsome, dazzling fixture on New York's social scene, whether partying with 
Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, holding down the donee floor at Nell's with Debbie Harry and 
Alba Clemente, throwing himself into the fight against AIDS, or gaining a reputation as a celebrity chef 
and cookbook author. Who knows? He may now decide to trade his tights for tongs and go into the 
restaurant business. The best news is that he is passing on his expertise to young dancers at the com- 
pany's School of American Ballet. Take another curtain call, Jock. And anoAr. -wayne LAWSON 


78 | VANITY F A I R 


It's £eTT6f{ /a/ Ttfe Oa#/<. 



Heath Ledger 

ate Lords 


here's a reason Lords of Dogtdwn opens 
I with the gang from the Zephyr surf shop 
riding waves past the gnarled wreckage of an 
amusement-park pier. "Forget Step into Liquid," 
says Dogfown director Catherine Hardwicke 
of the 2003 surfing movie, which was chockablock 
electric-blue North Shore swells. "When you're surfing in Ven 
it's step into shit, and that's what the guys from Dog- 
town were all about: making something out of the « 
debris of society." 

Opening this month, Lords of Dogfown, 
starring Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, 
Victor Rasuk, and John Robinson and 
written by Stacy Peralta (who directed the 
cult documentary Dogfown and Z-Boys), 
takes audiences back to the early 70s, 
when a trio of teen surf rats— Jay Adams, 
Tony Alva, and a young Peralta himself— 
strapped polyurethane wheels to their skateboards 
and transformed the culverts and drained pools of 
drought-stricken Los Angeles into canvases for ver- 
tical stunts previously seen only on the water. "The 
real pool that started it all was on the old Leo Car- 
rillo estate, in northern Santa Monica. That's where 
we heard the click of tile beneath our wheels for the first 
time," remembers Peralta of this Bikini Atoll for extreme 
sports. "The actor Peter Graves lived across the street, 
and he would call the cops on us." 

As Cameron Crowe did with his precocious rock- 
journalism career in Almost Famous, Peralta transforms his 
fantastic adolescence into a cautionary tale of fame's cor- 
rosive effect on friendship, and it crackles with the requisite 
anthem-heavy soundtrack. (Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog," 
anyone?) Regardless of how it fares at the box office, Lords 
of Dogfown is guaranteed to spawn a new generation of 
sidewalk surfers and to make older ones nostalgic for their 
own days of splendor on the asphalt. —JOHN BRODIE 

80 | VANITY F A I R I 









D. JUNE 1 a 8PM et/8:30PM pt 



N E * \*JrZ V^ C L A 1 

Dangerous Liaisons 


Does the mismatched-summer-lovers movie count as a 
legitimate genre? One of the most affecting 
examples in a long time is the almost generically 
titled My Summer of Love, a film whose sultry eroticism is all 
the more remarkable for being set not on Corfu, or in some 
steamy American small town in the 50s, but rather in 
present-day Yorkshire, England, one of the grimmest 
corners of what is surely the least sultry, least erotic island in 
the world. The protagonists are Mona, a parentless 
teenager who lives with her born-again brother above the 
failing family pub, and Tamsin, a posh girl recently kicked 
out of school and knocking around her own family's 
fashionably down-at-the-heels mansion. The two meet cute 
and, given the class differences, perhaps too schematically, 
Tamsin riding a magnificent horse and Mona pedaling a 
motorless scooter. The "richie" (to use the John Hughes 
formulation) is played by Emily Blunt, all heavy-lidded 
eyes, cheekbones, and hauteur, the poor girl by Natalie 
Press, whose gift to her cinematographer is a face with the 
sly, just-hatched look of a young Sissy Spacek. As they 
fall into a halting, then passionate and believably clumsy 
affair, the actresses and their writer-director, Pawel 
Pawlikowski, capture a powerful sense of intoxication, of 
how, especially when you're young, losing yourself in 
someone else can also be a thrilling, deliciously charged 
kind of narcissism. Events, alas, play out predictably, 
pointing toward a betrayal that won't come as a surprise, 
though it remains no less devastating. The final shot of 
Press tromping down a road through the woods seems to 
be an homage, conscious or not, to the finale of Fellini's 
Nights of Cabiria, though with a nasty little twist. It's not 
quite uplift, but you won't soon forget Press's savage, 
hopeful face. (•••!<) 



David Schwimmer's 

about r a Re- 

Rachel Pine 

ring. The 
perhaps mi 


n summon 
irelei Lee ish lorn 

! blink 
lie de- 

ore public 


Get out of the Water 


^P hirty years ago on June 20, Jaws, the great white whale (O.K., shark), start- 
I ed scaring people out of the water and into the theaters— $260 million worth 
of people at last count. The movie made Steven Spielberg a household 
name, and, ironically, island tourism tripled. 

The film was shot in 1 974 on Martha's Vineyard— locals were paid $26 

to run across the beach screaming. This summer, the island celebrates "Jaws Fest" the weekend of June 3-5 

with 23 former cast and crew members. There will even be a replica of Bruce, the troublesome "shark" of the 

original production. "We've never had a problem with a shark here," said a spokeswoman for the Martha's 

Vineyard Chamber of Corrmerce, "except a mechanical one." -john anderson 






Roman Holiday 


Karen Block and Francesco Veizoii, 

photographed in Los Angeles on 

Roman actor, Michelle Phillips 
and Glenn Shoe 



t lasts only a couple of minutes, but Gore Vidal's Caligula, artist 
Francesco Vezzoli's film installation at the Venice Biennale, com- 
bines hot actors with the debauchery of the mad Roman emperor while 

satirizing everything from Ameri- 
can politics to Hollywood along 
the way. Quite a full agenda for 
a project the director describes 
as "the trailer of a remake that 
doesr.'t exist." 

Released in 1979, the origi- 
nal Caligula was a notorious film 
written by Gore Vidal and di- 
rected in part by Bob Guccione, 
who included so much hard-core 
sex it was described as "the 


world's most expensive porn 
flick." A quarter of a century later, Vezzoli says his quick take is "a way of mirroring the superficiality of the 
film industry, where the best part of a movie is the trailer." Shot in a Sunset Boulevard mansion he de- 
scribes as "a cross between Versailles and Hadrian's Villa near Rome," the new Caligula features an i 
appearance by Gore Vidal and costumes by Donatella Versace. 

Cavorting in style are Benicio Del Toro, Milla Jovovich, Karen Black, Michelle Phillips, and 
Amy Sacco, along with Helen Mirren and Adriana Asti— both of whom also appeared in the ear- 
lier Caligula. The Roman emperor is played by a mystery actor, but the smart money is on the di- 
rector himself. 

As for contemporary relevance, Vezzoli says, "This trailer conveys the decline 
and the decadence of the Roman Empire. It's a tale of the degeneration 
of power and the greed for power. I thought that was a very ap- 
propriate project, considering the historical moment we're in." 

Ancient history-or today's headlines? —LESLIE BENNETTS 

If you pic. 
right, you may 
(50 St. James St 
renovated member 
Sneak into V 
- ilar Stre 

Hong Kong'! 


icretive club — if you can rind the 

w Delhi's 


Threesi«ty restaur 

Hussain Road) 

PROLIFIC PLAYWRIGHT Jon Robin Baih, photographed in Los Angeles on April I, 2005. 

8 4 VANITY FAIR www.vanilyfair.con 

JUNE 2005 



Your stock just went up. And split 

. - - - - 





(^TOYOTA g,, 

moving forward > 


1 1 







SOLAR A Never work hard again. At getting noticed. With the Solara Convertible 
SLE's impressive styling, leather-trimmed interior, JBL audio system and power-retractable 
convertible top, it's a solid addition to an already attractive portfolio, 

■ I^M 


1 wenty-fcur-year-old New York native Zac Posen is the type of guy every woman wants 
to know His appreciation of beauty and femininity is evident in his glamorous and 
angular binding designs, worn by friends such as Natalie Portman, Lola Schnabel, 
Anjelica Huston, and Claire Danes. His line is available at Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, 
and Neiman Marcus. The best part is you don't need to know Posen in order to wear him. 


Shampoo Kerastase 
Moisturizer DaRPHIN 
Hair product KERASTASE 
Cologne VETIVER OR 4711 
Toothpaste Elgydium 
Razor G. Lorenzi from 
Bergdorf Goodman 


Cell phone Nokia 
Computer APPLE eMaC G4 
Television Sony LCD 
Stereo iPod 


Bottled water Evian 
Coffee Kona 


Where do you live? West Village, in N.Y.C. 

Sheets Olatz 

Coffee-maker CuiSINART with a timer 



Stationery CaRTIER 


Sneakers HERMES ... 

Watch C artier Santos 100 

T-shirt Large Z polos from my women's 



Strong, intelligent, feminine ... the kind of 
women other women are afraid of. 


N.Y.C, Palermo, Cairo, Dallas, Paris, West Sussex, Dublin 


Books from Gallagher's, in the East Village. And 
French pharmacies. 

Here Comes 
the Sun 




; evian 





A water atomizer, designed to keep 
your skin refreshed and hydrated. is on 
everyone's summer must-have list: 
Evian Brumisateur Mineral Water 
Spray; La Mer's The Mist, enhanced 
with marine and botanical extracts; or 
Darphin's Nebulskin Aromatic Spray, 
composed of aloe vera as well as 
myrtle and rose essential oils. 
^^^__ Sensitive-skin types 

should check out anti- 
inflammatory Valmont 
Swiss Therapeutic Water, 
and fragrance-lovers should go for 
Shu Uemura Depsea Water, available 
in nine distinctive scents. 

A sunburn should 
never be the most 
memorable part 
of a vacation. 
Protect your skin 
with sunscreens 
from Bliss, 
Shiseido, Clarins, 
and Clinique. 


If a good book is your trusty 
beach companion, make a 
bottle of moisturizer your 
most reliable beach buddy. 
Refresh with Yves Saint 
Laurent, Bobbi Brown, 
Estee Lauder, Kiehl's, 
or Malin & Goetz. 


Can't get to the 
beach? Fake it with 
self-bronzers from Chanel, 
Lancome, Dior, and Phytomer 


The beach 
may be mil 
down the road, 
but a healthy glow is ju] 
seconds away. A quick flip 
of the compact can enhartj 
bronzing radiance. Our 
favorites, clockwise from tof\ 
left: Estee Lauder, LancoMj 
Darphin, Laura Mercier, J 
Prescriptives, Shiseido, 
Clinique, and Clarins. 




Only Sony* Cyber-shot 

digital cameras bring 

you amazingly large, vivid 

LCD screens, lightning 

quick startup, extremely 

long battery life and a 

diversity of form factors 

from pocket-sized to pro. 


Whether you're in search 
of incredibly sleek, 
ultra- advanced or out of 
this world, trust your 
memories to the cameras 
that have been digital 
from day one. 

You can find your perfect 
Cyber-shot camera at 
or by calling 

.< '- 

Queen Victoria 


¥ k As usual, part of you would like to charge ahead 

professionally while your other self dreams of vegging out on 
^B | a distant and exotic beach. Big trips are out. since cash flow 
has been such a maddening problem that nobody would fault 
you for frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of the word "money." 
With Venus in your sign trining Chiron and Neptune, however, that pesky 
issue is finally being resolved, so treat yourself to a slightly more frugal 
version of an extreme makeover and do your vegging close to home. 

Coulter SAGITTARIUS nov. 22- dec 

When Man and Venus pass simultaneously through 
solar 4th and 7th houses, respectively, family conflicts 
never fail to screw up your social life. To hell with that. 
Pluto's long passage through Sadge showed you that in 1 
end we're all alone, so you will never again permit guilt 1 
a /ear of abandonment to hamper your freedom. On another note: 
something is impairing your ability to communicate directly, even 
coherently, with others— especially relatives. Whose fault is it now? 


a Stephen Chow 
Cancers aren't normally secret-rendezvous types. You're more 
of a pancakes-and-sandals person. When the planet of love 
transits your 12th house, however, 
whispered conversations serve as a harmless 
defense against the retrogrades in your 8th 
house of sex. where you may be experiencing 
a slightly unnerving loss of desire. Joint 
financial deals are messy, too. but both problems are temporary, so don't 
freak. Non-sequitur prediction: You will be contacted by a foreign man. 

CAPRICORN DEC. 22-jan. 19 

Steven Soderbergh 



Matthew Henson 

LEO JULY 23-AUG. 22 


•*■►» What a trouper you are! No matter what kind of storm is 
fefatt blowing through your life, you show up looking like a million 
^^^ bucks, take the stage, and make it all look easy. It helps to 
have Venus in your 11th house providing you with a stable of friends who 
can support you when relationships go south. Life is strange and gets 
even stranger when Chiron and Neptune stop moving in your 7th house 
and Mars transits your 8th. It's always tough when your passions 
start kicking in big-time and there's nobody around to practice them on. 


Virginia Madsen 

Provided you're not saddled with work (fat chance), a 
lunation in your solar 9th house can present you with the 
opportunity to travel and put your mind in new places. 
Health issues? There's absolutely no cause to panic just because you have 
a few bizarre physical concerns that nobody can seem to diagnose or 
explain. Even a Rolls-Royce needs tuning up once in a while. And thanks 
to Mars in your 7th house, life will be anything but boring. Even if you 
have the sniffles, there will definitely be hot distractions. 

That Capricorns are financial geniuses is neither an accident 
nor a miracle. Money is threaded right onto the strands of your 
DNA. Even if you do a few stupid 
things in your youth just to prove you : 
typical Capricorn, you eventually wise up 
and master the material world. Now, as tw 
heavenly bodies go retrograde in your 2nd 
house, you need to summon all your prudence, wisdom, and magic to 
guide your ship through the rocky waters of this whacked-out economy. 

Germaine Greer 


Although Aquarians are often wrongly stereotyped as 
detached voyeurs who observe humanity as coldly as 
researchers watch test mice, you've definitely got a big heart 
With Venus in your 5th house, your feelings are running deep enough I 
to prove all the cliches wrong. Now if you could just express them. For 
as long as Chiron and Neptune are stationed in Aquarius, there's no w^ 
you can be present at the party. Even when you crawl out of your cave • 
to get there, you have to love everyone from a distance. A great distana 


Rudolf Nureyev 

Are you getting angrier by the minute or what? Who can 
blame you? You've just come through one heck of a transit 
of Mars and now your ruling planet is retrograde. It must seem 
like the classic dream where people are running but going nowhere. If 
you're not sure when to confront people openly about their beha\ior ant| 
when to "forgive them for they know not what they do." it's probably 
because you're still trying to decide whether you're a divine being of ligK| 
or just a regular person with a perfect right to blow your top. 


• Serena Williams 
Although your mind may be up there on cloud nine, letting 
you think only the loftiest thoughts as your ruling planet 
transits your 9th house, here's the real deal: there is more going 
on inside you than preach) abstractions and wishful thinking. In fact, 
with Chiron and Neptune squaring the lunation in your solar 8th house, 
this is one of the most emotionally complicated periods of your whole 
life. Whether you are 19 or 89, your heart is in control— and when your 
heart takes over, your head can just pack it in and forget it. 


^^^^ Vince Vaughn 

' "^ \bure lucky to have so many people who love and respect 
'J > ou After all. you're not always a joy to chill with when you 
^-^ feel all your hopes and dreams are going down the tubes. 
Although you're learning to cooperate, you can still act like a caged 
cougar when Mars, your ruling planet, does its stint in your 12th house. I 
No matter how often the phone rings or how many visitors you have 
(your place is busier than Grand Central), you can't seem to shake the 
feeling that you're trapped and surrounded by secret enemies. Get over ■ 


2 I 

Gavin Rossdale 


Yikes! What on earth is going on at home? The retrograde 
of Neptune and Chiron at the bottom of your solar chart 
can take different forms, so it's tough to say whether you're 
cleaning up a flooded basement or drowning in a swamp of your own 
making. Fortunately, you don't have to crawl under a rock and lick 
your wounds all alone. In fact, with your 7th and 8th houses so active 
now, all your feelings can be channeled into intimate relationships and 
creative work. See? You don't have to be just an emotional mess. 


Modeleine Albright 



Although transits of Venus last only a few weeks, when the 
ruler of your sun sign passes through your 2nd house 
you get to experience the breezy freedom that only having 
money can provide. That's not to say that material wealth is everything, 
especially when the retrograde of Chiron and Neptune in your midheaveM 
is showing you just how fragile your position can be— and how quickly 
public tastes can change. One great thing about you. though: you kept on 
wearing bell-bottoms till they finally came back into style. 


VANITY FAIR | www.vonityfair.con 



And the pursuit of happi 


:*:# J 


Clockwise from top 
left: a women's-rigl^ 
march in New York 
City, summer 1970; 
were trashed to prot 
the Miss America 
pageant in Atlantic 
September 7, 1968; 
protesters demonstrc 
against Harvard pre 
Lawrence Summers 
February 22, 2005; 
embattled Summers 


Why such outrage over Harvard president Larry Summers s hazy 

musing that women may he innately less gifted at science? Why such vitriol towan 

Michael Kinsley over the dearth of female bylines on the L.A. Times'* op-ed page? 

If the war between the sexes is heating up again, it's for good reason 

I ^1 othing clears the air and 
^B I brings the fans alive like a 
^H rollicking battle between the 
^ sexes. Not the sort of cryptic, 
glacial psychosexual torture experiments 
that playwright Neil LaBute perpetrates, 
which pit passive-aggressive men against 
blank-canvas women, or the snippy rivalries 
between studs and starlets on reality TV, 
but a dramatic blowup that exposes seis- 
mic fault lines buried under the carpet. In 
James Thurber's cartoon fracas "'The War 
Between Men and Women." the penguin- 
shaped foes engage in pitched battle on 
the staircase and hurl canned goods in 
the grocery store, but these days words are 
the weapons of choice, and only egos get 
bruised. We haven't had a real barn burner 
since Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas in 
1991 (Thomas barely won the bout and 
has been bitter ever since), and so far this 

year we've been treated to a twin bill- 
Harvard president Larry Summers vs. Ma- 
dame Curie, and the pesky writer-professor 
"Bruisin"' Susan Estrich vs. writer-editor 
Michael "the Mauler" Kinsley. I suspect 
these are only preliminary matches, with 
much more stormy petrel heading our way. 
Readers relatively new to the planet nev- 
er experienced or witnessed the visceral 
intensity of the civil war waged between the 
sexes in the late 60s~early 70s, when an- 
gry women and surly men squared off 
and wounded marriages were carried out 
on stretchers. (One typical memoir of the 
period was titled Combat in the Erogenous 
Zone.) Radical feminism had come steam- 
ing out of the political and social upheaval 
that produced Black Power, the anti-war 
movement. Students for a Democratic So- 
ciety, the Young Lords, and the trippy 
counterculture, fur 'ed in part by frustra- 

tion with a male-dominated left as sex 
as the worst chauvinist pigpen (typified 
black radical Stokely Carmichael's gibi 
that "the only position for women in [thl 
movement] is prone"). It was the time of 
Valerie Solanas's scum Manifesto (namec 
for the Society for Cutting Up Men. o 
which Solanas was founder and sole mem 
ber): the protest at the 1968 Miss Amen 
ca pageant, where feminists dumped gin 
dies and brassieres into trash cans, inspir- 
ing the urban legend of bra burning; thl 
feminist sit-in at the editorial offices ol 
Ladies Home Journal; and the flurry ova 
Kate Millett's polemic Sexual Politics, which 
brought Norman Mailer into the gladiatort 
ring, where he excited the mob with com- 
ments he later regretted, such as •women 
should be kept in cages." Feminist debate! 
degenerated into fight night on television's 
David Susskind Show, hosted by a woolly}) 

92 | VANITY FAIR www.vonilyfoir com 

JUNE 20 

te Selective 

'• •"' • . 



*&'<* t?' 

^udweiser Select, 
ved for a crisp taste 
lat finishes clean. 


oD&fact and ST&werful 


liberal mystified by all the fuss. In her 
memoir In Our Time, Susan Brownmil- 
ler recalls being on a Susskind broadcast 
with the Amazonian Australian feminist 
and self-proclaimed "Intellectual Super- 
whore" Germaine Greer where "[Greer] 
had stripped to a sexy tank top, the male 
and female guests were trading insults 
as expected, and the invited audience of 
movement women was keeping up the 
heat by screaming at Susskind to take 

Enter Harvard president Lawrence H. 
Summers and chorus of faculty members 
nearly three decades later, grumbling 
across the quadrangle. 

In January, Summers, who was Treasury 
secretary under President Clinton, mused 
aloud at an academic conference that 
perhaps "intrinsic aptitude" helped account 
for the scarcity of women in the highest 
ranks of science and engineering, along with 

his hands off Germaine's bare shoulder." 
That never happens on The Charlie Rose 
Show, though he occasionally peers into 
the Andes. 

Heated debate was a contact sport 
back then, but it wasn't all kung fu quar- 
reling. Beyond and below the histrionics, 
intellectual breakthroughs and political 
progress were made in advancing equal- 
pay- for-equal-work, abortion rights, and 
rape awareness, and in combating sexual 
discrimination. In 1977, after the hostili- 
ties had tapered off enough to permit him 
to poke his head up for a look-see, essay- 

other factors. Two little words 
can undo so much, and this pair 
would usher in Summers's winter 
of discontent. Even before the full 
text of his remarks was made 
available, his hazy hypothesis tor- 
nado'd into the news and across the pun- 
ditsphere, becoming an instant cause cele- 
bre in the culture wars. A casualty of self- 
inflicted sound bite, Summers executed 
emergency damage control, backpedaling 
like a punt returner and apologizing and 
appointing not one but two task forces to 
investigate how to attract more women into 

the pages of the Post, began his col 
with the O.E.D. definition of "hysteri 
diagnose M.I.T. biology professor N 
Hopkins, who hyperventilated when 
heard Summers's remarks. "My heart 
pounding and my breath was shallow," 
said afterward, adding that if she ha 
left the room she would have either thrc 
up or blacked out. Will pronounced H 
kins not only hysterical but delusior 1 
"Hopkins's hysteria was a sample of 

ica's campus-based indij 
tion industry, which cht 
out operatic reactions 
imagined slights." The e 
dite columnist neglected 
include the etymology of 
word "hysteria," from 
Greek hystera, for womb, 
fleeting the ancient belief t 
women's emotional spas 
were attributable to dist 
bances in their womb. 1 
was, in short, slinging 
of the oldest misogynist p 
downs in the book: t 
poor things can't h 
behaving irrational! 
nature just built tb 
that way. 

Taking their cue 
Monsignor Will, coi 
vative publications 
dictably portrayed 
debate as political correctness run amolj 
the first move in a power coup. "A lef 
examined aspect of the Summers's soa 
opera is how the anti-Summers campaigl 
fits in to the larger feminist game plani 
wrote Carrie Lukas, director of policy fl 
the Independent Women's Forum, privy tj 
the secret minutes of the ballbusters' exec 



ist Wilfrid Sheed observed that the edu- 
cated upper middle class had welcomed 
women's liberation with "reasonably open 
arms," but cautioned that this semi- 
embrace might not endure as "those rarest 
of plums, interesting jobs," became fewer 
in the workplace. He presciently warned, 
"The best and brightest who brought you 
women's lib may be the first to abandon 
it and start clawing each other the old 
way, man, woman, and black alike. . . . 
Already the most bitter fights take place 
on the most enlightened campuses. Even 
in graduate school, that cradle of civiliza- 
tion, women can usually count on an el- 
bow in the eye right along with the lip 

academic careers in science and engineer- 
ing. This failed to placate the home team. 
In March, the Harvard faculty of arts and 
sciences, in a secret ballot, voted in favor 
of a motion for censure that read, "The 
faculty lacks confidence in the leadership 
of Lawrence H. Summers." The Furies had 
been unleashed and the gallop to judg- 
ment was on. 

The intellectual caliber of the first re- 
sponded barely rose above a popgun level. 
Sally Quinn, playing cute in The Washing- 
ton Post, confessed that she was crummy 
at math herself and no great shakes in the 
natural sciences: "I took botany as my sci- 
ence requirement thinking it was flower ar- 
ranging." George F Will, also grooming in 

utive council. "Feminists are looking for 
opportunities to prove their relevance andl 
power. Toppling Larry Summers would fitl 
the bill nicely." Harvey Mansfield, a profesJ 
sor of government at Harvard, saw noth-[ 
ing quite so sinister in this witches' SabbathJI 
To him, Summers's detractors were just a 
batch of mixed-up dames, a bunch of silrw 
hotheads too thin-skinned for manly differ* 
ences of opinion in the billiard room. You* 
know how sensitive these high-strung women* 
can be. The least little thing, and they get! 
all upset. "Feminists do not like to arguej 
and they consider you a case if you do notj 
immediately agree with them," he wrote. 
" 'Raising consciousness' is their way of gen 
ting you to fall in with their plans, and 'tskj 


JUNE 2001 











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tsk' is the only signal you should need and 
will get. Anyone who requires evidence and 
argument -s already an enemy because he is 
considering a possibility hurtful to women.'' 

maureen Connolly (Coalition for Anti- 
Sexist Harvard): / want Harvard to become 
a university that is supportive for women, 
for minorities, for it to stop being an old 
boys' club. And Larry Summers has 
not shown me . . . 
sean hanmty: Oh, good grief. 
Connolly: It is not his job to guide the 
intellectual inquiry that happens at 
this university. It is the scholar's job to 
do that. 
HANNITY: You're overreacting, Maureen. 

-Hannity & Colmes. 
Fax News Channel, February 23, 2005. 

Amid the hubbub, the original flash 
point of the controversy was nearly 
forgotten. A couple months after Sum- 
mers's trip of the tongue, a front-page sto- 
ry in The Wall Street Journal by Jeanne 
Whalen and Sharon Begley reported on 
studies of the new methods of teaching 

that he had a larger problem with diversity 
and minority representation. Eugene Robin- 
son pointed out in The Washington Post, 
"When Summers arrived at Harvard, one of 
his first acts was to dress down one of the 
university's best-known black scholars, Cor- 
nel West, for spending too much time on 
outside projects and not enough on research. 
Offended, West decamped to Princeton Uni- 
versity [a bitter saga recounted by Sam 
Tanenhaus in Vanity Fair, June 2002]. But 
Harvard is lousy with peripatetic rock-star 
professors. One of Summers's most vocal 
defenders is Harvard Law School professor 
Alan Dershowitz, who found time amid his 
busy academic schedule to serve on the O. J. 
Simpson defense team, for heaven's sake. 
Why start with West? Was he doing any- 
thing his white colleagues don't do?" Well, 
he was cutting rap records, but in a democ- 
racy even a Harvard professor should be al- 
lowed to express his groove thang. 

I don't discount these contributing fac- 
tors, but they don't explain the ferocity of 
the media frenzy. What exploded, methinks, 
was a protracted buildup of exasperation 
over the persistent under-representation of 

percent of the bylines belonged to won 
Estrich began to lobby Kinsley, the fov 
ing editor of Slate, who assumed editor 
of the Times's op-ed page in 2004, ba 
ing him with e-mails. And what e-mails.| 
trich castigated Kinsley for his "'arroga 
called him a "jerk," and threatened to : 
mouth him at a charity event— "You 
me to work that dinner about what a | 
pletive deleted] you are?" But the ur 
est cut was when she posited that 
ley's medical condition— Parkinson's 
ease— might be eroding his mental cap 
ty, sneering, "People are beginning to I 
that your illness may have affected 
brain, your judgment and your ability to J 
this job." Kinsley, demonstrating that 1 
mind hadn't lost its saber swash, filleted 
trich's pretensions to crusaderhood withJ 
losing his cool. "If Susan wants to boycl 
media institutions that don't adequately I 
fleet her progressive feminist values, majj 
she should start by resigning from Fox Ne 
where she is a commentator," he wrote] 
Washington's Examiner newspaper. 
A personal note. I worked under 
in the early 80s when he was the editor | 



math in British classrooms that found girls 
closing the gender gap and even pulling 
ahead of the boys. These early results tend- 
ed to refute the "intrinsic aptitude" theory 
Summers had floated. "The English expe- 
rien : with math education suggests that 
g .n. r differences, even those that seem 
innate and based in biology, do not lead 
inevitably to any particular outcome," re- 
ported the Journal. "That view fits into a 
broader current sweeping over how scien- 
tists think of genetics. Many now believe 
that traits that seem intrinsic— meaning 
those grounded in the brain or shaped by 
a gene— are subject to cultural and social 
forces, and that these forces determine how 
a biological trait actually manifests itself in 
a person's behavior or abilities. An "intrin- 
sic' trait, in other words, does not mean an 
inevitable outcome, as many scientists had 
long thought." So put that in your Popeye 
pipe and smoke it, armchair he-men. 

If the Wall Street Journal article didn't re- 
ceive the notice it should have, it may be 
because the hellzapoppin' at Harvard was 
never primarily over innate aptitude and gen- 
der difference— Summers's comments were 
simply the spark that ignited the gunpowder 
barrels. His obstreperous, imperious manner 
made much of the faculty bristle (see Rich- 
ard Bradley's book, Harvard Rules), and his 
pattern of governance at Harvard suggested 

women in positions of prominence and au- 
thority, and the mulish inability of power- 
ful men to recognize the scope of the prob- 
lem, or their tendency instead to rational- 
ize it with voodoo genetics and Victorian- 
parlor sociology. Women are sick of hear- 
ing the same old sea chanteys. They've had 
their fill of men who insist on protecting 
their privileges and pretend it's the natural 
order of things. 

Exasperation turned asp-tongued in the 
second card on the bill, an e-mail duel 
between former classmates at Harvard 
Law School. Susan Estrich and Michael 
Kinsley. More acrimonious and ad hominem 
than the Summers hoedown, this conflict 
blurred the usual left-right divisions large- 
ly because of the personalities involved. 
(There's something about Susan Estrich— 
some ineffable quality she possesses that, 
should it ever become effable, would peel 
paint off battleships— that annoys people 
of all faiths and political creeds.) A profes- 
sor of law at the University of Southern 
California and campaign manager for Dem- 
ocratic presidential contender Michael 
Dukakis (oy), Estrich assigned her students 
to tally the number of female contributors 
to the Los Angeles Times op-ed page and 
discovered a lopsided ratio of men to 
women. In one nine-week stretch, only 20 

Harper's; his managerial style was casu. 
and collegial, not autocratic and rigid 
never heard anything different about h 
tenures at The New Republic and Slate. Bi 
it is also true that just because it's Susa 
Estrich creating an almighty stink doesri 
mean the stinker may not have a legitii 
gripe. More than a month before Estrict] 
started hitting the "Send" button. Helemj 
Cobban, a columnist for Tlie Christian Sci\ 
ence Monitor, had been running a score- 
board on her blog. Just World News, count 
ing the number of male and female contnl> 
utors to the op-ed page of Vie Washington 
Post. From December 21, 2004, to Febnw 
ary 14. 2005, Cobban counted only 26 fe- 
male bylines out of 260— a measly 10 peri 
cent. The New York Times op-ed page has 
only one female columnist, Maureen Dowd. 
The gender breakdown of the op-ed pages 
of the leading organs of manufactured con- 
sent can't be ascribed to women's being 
consensus seekers and tremulous wallflow- 
ers. The numbers are too indicting. 

As columnist Katha "Bone Crusher"" 
Pollitt wrote in Vie Nation, "Feminine 
psychology doesn't explain why all 
five of USA Today's political columnists arej 
male, or why Time's eleven columnists are 
male— down to the four in Arts and Enter- 
tainment—or why at Newsweek it's one out 

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of six in print and two out oi thi teen on 
the Web. According co Editor and Pub 
the proportion of female syndicated c 
nists (one in four) hasn't budged since 
1999." Pollitt. ridiculed the notion that out- 
reach efforts for female writers required 
some wild-country safari. "How hard could 
it be to 'find' Barbara Ehrenreich. who 
filled in for Thomas Friedman for 
one month last summer and wrote 
nine of the best columns the Tunes 
has seen in a decade? Or Dahlia 
Lithwick, legal correspondent for 
Slate, another Friedman fill-in, who 
actually possesses a deep grasp of 
the field she covers— which cannot 
always be said for John Tierney. who be- 
gins his Times column in April? . . . And. 
not to be one of those shrinking violets 
everyone's suddenly so down on, What 
about me? Am I a potted plant?" 

A personal note. I have met Katha Pol- 
litt, and she is neither a potted plant nor 
chopped liver. 

Broadcast media aren't much better 
than their print elders. Fairness and 
Accuracy in Reporting— fair— took a 
spin across the dial and discovered . . . well, 
the title of its press release tells the story: 
"Women's Opinions Also Missing on Tele- 
vision." Once again men monopolize the 
blather. "An upcoming fair study has found 
that on television, as in print, female pun- 
dits are in short supply." fair focused its 
study on the Sunday-morning panel shows, 
crediting only NBC's The Chris Matthews 
Show with achieving gender equity, but even 
here there were problems. "While the Chris 
Matthews Show did well on gender parity, 
every one of its 49 female panelists was 
white." If it weren't for Gwen Ifill and Don- 
na Brazile, the other shows would have 

. Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol [some pre- 
sumably harder than others, but let's not be 
prurient]— most of the women tapped are 
political correspondents who primarily pro- 
vide analysis from a less openly opinionat- 
ed viewpoint." It cites as an example Na- 
tional Public Radio political correspondent 
Mara Liasson, who's booked on Fox News 
pundit panels as the 
token liberal but in 


Wal-Mart's executive 
lineup does the "Wal-Mart 
Cheer," Fayetteville, 
Arkansas, June 6, 2003. 

truth ladles out lukewarm mush, which still 
doesn't spare her from being interrupted 
and patronized by Fred Barnes and Brit 
Hume, who must have taken a graduate 
course in harrumphing together. 

Make no mistake. A paucity of female 
pundits isn't the most burning issue 
on the ramparts. The real war be- 
tween the sexes is waged out of the spot- 
light and in the trenches, a shadowy war of 
deprivation and restriction where women— 
particularly poor women— are increasingly 

bill. ("Even without the reform, more 
1 million women will find themselvJ 
bankruptcy court this year, outnumbe 
men by about 150,000, if past trends 
says Jill Miller, chief executive office 
Women Work! in Washington, D.C."-J 
Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2(1 
As religious values are imposed on the | 
ity, this grinding rollback will only 
sen, since fundamentalist religion of d 


flavor since the dawn of dust is based uj 
patriarchy and dominion over wome 
lives and bodies. Only when more wor 
are visible in the opinionsphere will a 
be raised over this campaign of attritic 
given that the men on Imus and Sundaj 
morning panels would rather talk war an* 

The rub is that if more women ar 
picked for the op-ed pages and pundi 
roundups, they will most likely be chosei 
from the same incestuous Beltway-medi; 
clique that treats the rest of America as I 



been as lily-white as a Confederate ball, too. 
fair: "The dearth of women pundits (and 
particularly women of color) on television 
can also be traced in part to the overall un- 
derrepresentation of women in the news- 
room. In a 2004 survey, women made up 
only 37 percent of the staff at newspapers 
across the country (and only 34 percent 
of supervisors); women of color represent- 
ed a paltry 6 percent (American Society of 
Newspaper Editors, 4/20/04)." Moreover, 
the skinny-assed white women who do pop- 
ulate Sunday panels tend to be politically 
neutered: "While a number of hard-right 
men are regularly featured on these shows- 
George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Robert 

denied access to contraception and family- 
planning information: blocked from ad- 
vancing into management positions at mega- 
chains such as Wal-Mart (which is facing 
a huge class-action suit over sexual dis- 
crimination); shut out of the major action 
in Wall Street trading houses; brutalized 
body and soul as the primary victims of 
domestic violence (the Violence Against 
Women Act, enacted in 1994, comes up for 
renewal this year, its passage by no means 
certain): threatened by the Bush adminis- 
tration's stealth attempt to undermine Ti- 
tle IX, which was a boon to women's col- 
lege athletics: and forced to bear the brunt 
of the class-warfare bankruptcy "reform" 

giant appendix to their schmoozy careers] 
That was the lesson some of us took away 
when Kinsley said that one of the writers hfi 
had nabbed for his op-ed page was Mart 
garet Carlson (of Time and a regular oil 
CNN's The Capital Gang). Carlson, who 
has redefined mediocrity in every venue 
she's worked in, is no answer to anything. 
The real war between the sexes is a class 
war, a war that will remain under the radai 
as long as the self-perpetuating media and 
political establishment maintain the fiction 
that the country doesn't have a class sys- 
tem, that they all got where they are on 
"merit." All you have to do is listen to most 
of them to know that isn't so. □ 



JUNE 2001 

^■•i . 




London Calling 
(and Dishing) 

Ah, London in the spring-the glam-packed 
lobby of Claridge's, the latest royal gossip 
from Fleet Street's Young Turks, and, to top it 
all off, Europe's social elite exchanging tidbits 
and theories (sex crime or Mafia hit?) on the 
gruesome murder of financier Edouard Stern. 
The author shares all this and more 

fter rainy New York, the spring wea 
London seemed perfect when I arrive 
March 16. My spirits were immedia 
lifted to be in my favorite city in Eurof 
went there right after settling the lav 
brought against me by former conj 
man Gary Condit in the matter of the I 
appearance and death of Chandra Li 
Every now and then, it's good to give yourself a treat, and tr 
what I was doing. I was eager to return to normal life after two 
a half years of anxiety, the kind of anxiety that dries up the c 
tive juices and.that no tranquilizer can quell. Unable to com 
trate for long on anything else during the ordeal, I had been foi 
to put aside my novel in progress, which is called A Solo A 
hoped that eight days in London would get me in gear to re 
to the book. It was the perfect choice. There must have been a n 
lion daffodils in bloom in Hyde Park, where I would sit on a ber 
and watch the passing parade. I had lunches and dinners with < 
friends such as Marguerite Littman. the witty southern belle fix 
Monroe. Louisiana, whom I first knew in Hollywood in the 1 
50s. when she was coaching Elizabeth Taylor 
how to speak with a southern accent for t 
movie Raintree County, and who has long bed 
one of the leading figures in London's artistic a 
social sets. I attended two wonderful plays. 7 
History Boys, by Alan Bennett, which haunt, 
me for days, and Don Carlos, by the 18th-centu! 
German dramatist and poet Friedrich von Sch 
ler, with fantastic performances by Derek Jaca 
and Peter Eyre. 77?? History Boys plays in repe 
tory at the National Theatre, so it is almost ir 
possible to get a ticket, but it is well worth tr 
effort. Michael Parkinson, the Johnny Carson ( 
England for 30 years, whom I don't even kno 
but who is a friend of a friend of mine, mad 
one of those magic calls to someone import 
and there I was, fourth row center. I went to 
favorite bookstore. Heywood Hill, on Curzo.' 
Street, where Nancy Mitford had worked as 
salesgirl during World War II, and bought tht 
last of 1.000 privately printed copies of the mem 
oirs of the late Baron Alexis de Rede, whict 
Prince Rupert Loewenstein, the well-known ft 
nancial adviser to the Rolling Stones, financed! 
and which Hugo Vickers. the editor of Cecil BeaJ 
ton's diaries, edited. I went to Turnbull & Asser. 
on Jermyn Street, and ordered some new shirts 
to wear in the coming season on Power, Privilege, 
and Justice, my Court TV series. 

I stayed at Claridge's, where I've been staying 
for more than 30 years. My only criticism is that 
there aren't enough chairs in the lobby from 
which to view all the glamorous people rushing 
here, rushing there. "We're off to Africa on safari." 
said Julian Schnabel. the artist and film director. 
"Dick's having a screening of our new film, Char- 
lie and the Chocolate Factory " said Lili Zanuck, 
speaking about her husband and business part- 
ner. Richard Zanuck. as she sped off to lunch 
with Robin Hurlstone. the former longtime boy- 
friend of Joan Collins. "Barry [Diller] and I are 
taking my granddaughter to see Mary Poppins* 
said Diane von Furstenberg, racing for her cat 

)n ( 
tan I 

3 IN 

100 I VANITY F A I R | 

photograph by JULIAN EDELSTEIN 

JUNE 2001 








Ifiiiir itin viMir^ 

in a white-fox coat. "We took your advice and saw Don Carlos," 
said the Czech director Milos Forman, who, with producer Saul 
Zaentz. is about to start shooting in Spain on Goya's Ghosts, star- 
ring Gael Garcia Bernal. "I'm here to pick up Grace Dudley, 
who's just arrived. We're going to Rupert Loewenstein's for din- 
ner." said John Bowes-Lyon, known as Bosie, who was closely re- 
lated to the late Queen Mother. Martin Ballard, who is probably 
the best-known hall porter in Europe, is usually in the center of the 
lobby, directing everything like a ringmaster. He knows all the 
guests and their needs, and they all know him. Martin is so "in" 
that in February he was invited to Paris for the Baron de Rede's 
very private funeral. 

On my second day in London, I met Peter Evans, the En- 
glish author. I had been riveted by his book Nemesis, in 
which he links the late Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis 
to the assassination of Robert Kennedy, and I had been shocked 
at how little publicity the book receivec 5 when it came out last 
year. Since then Evans and I have established a regular e-mail 
correspondence. The paperback edition of Nemesis has just been 
released, and a blurb from me appears on the front jacket over 

I had a fabulous night at a dinner for 10 given in a pr! 
dining room at the historic Garrick Club. My host, | 
put the fascinating group together, has chosen to remain 
mous. All the guests were members of the British press. in{ 
ing the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, and 
There were no husbands, wives, girlfriends, or boyfriends. E^ 
one was much younger than I, but we all write about the 
things. It was dizzying to hear them speak openly, and I was 
ing to take out my green leather notebook and make nc 
but I didn't. The subjects included Tony Blair, Queen Eliza 
Prince Charles. Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William, 
Harry, James Hewitt, secret letters bought by the Palace 
and on. 

Like several of my friends with double-barreled last na 
who know the Prince of Wales and frequent his houses, tr 
new friends of mine from various London newsrooms all spl 
about the apathy of the English public concerning Pri( 
Charles's nuptials and the royal family in general. They wonde 
if the monarchy would even survive after the death of 79-y< 
old Queen Elizabeth, whose mother lived to be 101. Most of tnj 
did not believe that Charles would ever be King. Prince Willia 

I am so happy the national drama of Terri Schiavo is ov( 

the title: "Knocked my socks off. Run, do not walk to your local 
bookstore." I stand by that statement. Evans and I had lunch at 
Claridge's, where, in Nemesis, Tina Onassis Blandford. the first wife 
of Onassis and later the wife of the Marquis of Blandford, tells 
her daughter, Christina Onassis, over lunch, of her father's com- 
plicity in Kennedy's death. Evans likes to talk about what's going 
on in high circles, and I'm pretty good at that sort of conversation 
myself, so we had a very good time. 

Everyone in the upper echelons in London, Paris, and New 
York was talking about the scandalous murder of the financier 
Edouard Stern at his security-perfect penthouse in Geneva. The 
Mail on Sunday reported, "Mr. Stern's killing was linked to the 
Russian mafia and the mysterious death in 1999 of billionaire Ed- 
mond Safra." Stern had helped to arrange the controversial S9.9 
billion sale of Safra's Republic New York Corporation to HSBC 
shortly before Safra's death. Not since the mysterious death of 
Safra— which has never been satisfactorily explained— has Euro- 
pean society been so transfixed by a violent occurrence in their 
own backyard. Stern's memorial was attended by the creme de la 
creme of Paris. A handsome and deeply unpopular banker who 
was married to the daughter of Michel David-Weill, the head of 
Lazard Freres, Edouard Stern came to his end wearing a latex 
suit. Stories surrounding the murder were bountiful, each one 
more bizarre than the last. A dildo. S&M practices. Four gun- 
shots. My friend Taki Theodoracopulos, the columnist, gave the 
most graphic description in the British magazine Vie Spectator. 
He was the first one to mention the dildo in print, though the 
word was being silently mouthed at candlelit dinner parties all 
over London and Paris. The press reported that a prostitute had 
confessed to having shot the banker. 

"We have to talk about the Edouard Stern murder," said an 
American staying in the hotel. 
\ hooker confessed." I replied. 

"There's much more than that." she said. 

For Stern to be found dead in such humiliating circumstances 
must have been simply ghastly for the wife and children he left 
behind. And though people were cognizant of all that, and sym- 
pathetic, they could talk of nothing else. One prevailing theory is 
that the S&M crime scene was all a careful mise en scene, creat- 
ed to make a business assassination appear to be a kinky sex 

the hope of the public because of his strong resemblance to )| 
late mother, has not become the media favorite that she wi 
Having his picture on the cover of a magazine or newspaper | 
longer guarantees sales. "We know almost nothing about hir 
said one reporter. "He's very secret." Another said, "He dislikl 
the media and the people who wait outside places where he is gl 
ing to be, like church, to try to speak to him." A third said. "Mai 
be if he makes the right kind of marriage and has a great weddir| 
there will be interest again." 

Poor Camilla Parker Bowles— excuse me, poor H.R.H. tb 
Duchess of Cornwall, as she has become. Was there ever ; 
bride as rudely received into a family by her new in-laws 
the new duchess? I don't know why they didn't just elope to La 
Vegas and spare themselves the humiliation that has been heape< 
on them. The English tabloids were reporting daily on their froni 
pages all the snubs that the Queen and Prince Philip had directec 
at their new daughter-in-law. Two weeks before the wedding, tha 
Queen held a state dinner at Buckingham Palace for the president 
of Italy, which was followed by a return state dinner the follow^ 
ing night at the Italian Embassy. Camilla was not invited to eithen 
An embarrassing photograph in the Evening Standard showed the 
Queen looking as if she were smelling something unpleasant as hef 
son and heir kissed her on the cheek at the first of the dinners. I 
think it's safe to say that the Prince and his mother have very little 
connection these days. 

I admit to being an enormous admirer of the late Princess 
Diana, with whom I once had a memorable conversation about 
O. J. Simpson, of all people, after which I became one of her 
intrigued worshippers. But time marches on. The lady has been 
dead nearly eight years. She will never, however, be forgotten in 
England, where she is still omnipresent. Even dead, she contin- 
ues to upstage the family she married into. "There were three ol 
us in this marriage," she told Martin Bashir in her famous, fatal 
1995 television interview. The wedding of her former husband to 
the third party in their failed marriage has brought Diana back 
again, as big as ever. Now she is the third person in their mar- 
riage. The sheer star power of the beautiful dead princess is pre- 
served in countless photographs and limitless television footage— 
the most glamorous woman in the world, whether in a spark- 
ling evening dress or kneeling at the hospital bed of a dying aids 


JUNE 2005 

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uuMimuN u u r* n c 

Kitty Kelley, the controversial biographer, \vho| 
savagely attacked by the administration and i 
members of the media on the publication last I 
tember of her book The Family, about the Bush dynj 
has gotten even with her detractors in a scathing aftt 
to be published in the paperback edition, which 
released this month. Kelley knows a thing or two al| 
settling scores, and she's not afraid to be ruthless, 
short epilogue makes for wonderfully entertaining : 
ing, because she names the naj 
of those who went out of their 
to destroy her credibility. She lets I 
critics, both in politics and the pr| 
have it with both barrels. 


patient. If she wanted to get even with 
them for what they did to her, she has 
certainly succeeded. 

Prince Charles, however, had every 
right to marry again, especially since he has 
been romantically involved with the new duch- 
ess for more than 30 years. People I know who 
know Camilla speak highly of her. On the great 
stage of history, she and Charles have a unique 
bond in that Camilla's great-grandmother Mrs. 
Keppel was the longtime mistress of Prince 
Charles's great-grandfather King Edward VII, a 

mistress of such importance that when the King 

was dying his wife, Queen Alexandra, allowed Mrs. Keppel into 
his bedroom to say good-bye. Good luck to them, I say. 

I am so happy that the national drama of Terri Schiavo is over. 
May that lady rest in peace. My late former wife, Lenny, my 
sons, Griffin and Alex, and I went through our own version 
of that whole tragic experience back in 1982, when my daughter, 
Dominique, was strangled into brain death by a former boyfriend. 
She was the center of love in our family, the youngest, the most 


Above, Prince Charles 

and the new Duchess of Cornwall. 

Top, the couple with their families: 

seated, Prince Philip, Queen 

Elizabeth, and Camilla's father, 

Major Bruce Shand; standing, Princes 

Harry and William, and Tom and 

Laura Parker Bowles. 

ohnnie Cochran, the crim I 
lawyer who mesmerized the cr I 
try, often unfavorably, as the 
nius responsible for the unpopular I 
quittal of O. J. Simpson in the murdl 
of his wife, Nicole, and Ronald Gel 
man, died on March 29. Approxima| 
ly a year and a half earlier, he had 1 
operated on for a brain tumor. There 
a persistent silence regarding his pc 
operative condition, and the few people who \\ 
him say he always told them he was fine. Althou| 
he had had a successful career before the Si) 
son trial, and continued to have one after it. tr 
trial is what he will always be remembered for. I 
was the only time his life and mine overlapped 
had a front-row seat in the courtroom, betwed 
the Brown family and the Goldman family. As a 
as I'm concerned, a blight remained on the lawyers on both sid 
after the acquittal. Only Cochran emerged relatively unscathed as 
national celebrity. I had a fractious relationship with him. There 
no doubt that he played the race card blatantly, and I complaint 
loudly in the last week of the trial when, during 10-minute bathrooi 
breaks, Nation of Islam guards kept everyone else out of the mei 
room when Johnnie was inside. I didn't write nicely about him. an 
I didn't talk nicely about him on television. He didn't like me, e 
ther. All that said, however, he was the most charismatic figure I\ 

^ks there ever a bride as rudely received by her new in-lawsr 

adored. When we came together in Los Angeles from our respec- 
tive homes, we drove in silence to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 
where she was on life support, on orders of the police. Walking 
into her cubicle in the intensive-care unit, we stared at her, aghast. 
Her neck was purple where John Sweeney had strangled her. Her 
beautiful hair had been shaved off. A large screw was inserted into 
her skull to relieve pressure— I had given permission to apply it 
the day before. We spoke to her as a family, each of us holding 
one of her hands or feet. The life-support system jolted her back 
and forth in a grotesque imitation of life. Dominique had been 
that way for several days, and none of us for a single moment had 
any wish to perpetuate her ordeal. Lenny, who suffered from 
multiple sclerosis and had long been an invalid in a wheelchair, 
was the one who spoke up. She said they had to stop the ma- 
chine. She said that Dominique's organs should be donated. 
Then each of us went into the room alone to say good-bye to her 
and tell her how much we loved her. Within two hours her heart 
was on an airplane to San Francisco, where it was transplanted 
into the body of a young man. I sometimes think about that guy 
and wish him well. 

ever seen in a courtroom. You couldn't take your eyes off him. 
wasn't just his periwinkle suits and loud ties. The guy had true stai 
quality. You could love him or hate him. but you couldn't ignore 
him. He was a major presence. He, not Judge Ito, ran the court- 
room. It was Cochran who provoked the disastrous glove exper- 
iment—a mistake from which prosecutor Chris Darden never re- 
covered—and Cochran who almost instantly came up with the line 
that defined the trial: "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." 
I had the good fortune about two years ago to be reconciled with 
Johnnie Cochran. It's such a wonderful feeling to unload life's excess 
baggage. Henry Schleiff, the president and C.E.O. of Court TV, 
arranged for Johnnie and me to meet for lunch at Michael's, the res- 
taurant popular with the publishing world, on West 55th Street in 
Manhattan. We hugged, and we talked about the trial. I asked him 
if he still thought O. J. Simpson wasn't guilty. He didn't answer; he 
just laughed. Then he took out his cell phone and dialed a number. 
"I'm with someone who wants to say hello to you," he said to the 
person on the other end, handing the phone to me. It was his wife. 
Dale, a handsome, classy lady with whom I had remained on good 
terms throughout the trial. I never saw Johnnie again. □ 


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How come right-wing pundits are funny, 
while their left-wing counterparts are 
stuck in plodding solemnity? An exploration 
of the humor gap between the conservative 
and liberal media leads the author 
from the Ivy League ambitions of Slate 
straight to the stirffed-shirt empire 
of The New York Times 

Why aren't liberals funny? 
And how come conser- 
vative columnist David 
Brooks, formerly a stylish. 
witty, sharp-eyed writer, 
got to be such a plodding, 
stuffed-shirt prig when he 
went to work for a liberal publication' 1 

Brooks's book Bobos in Paradise is an 
example of an old-fashioned, way-we-live- 
now sociology— drawing the great social car- 
icature—that is hardly practiced anymore (so- 
ciology, which used to be aligned with jour- 
nalism, is now a quantitative discipline). His 
subject was middle-class identity and par- 
ticularly, even though he's a conservative, 
liberal-middle-class identity. As an observer 
of manners. Brooks was a little hyperbolic, 
a little reductive, and clever to a fault. 

But then he went to the New York Times 
op-ed page. The Times, temperamentally 
resistant to the hyperbolic, the reductive, 
the too clever, took Brooks's style away. 
Sociology without style is pomposity. 

The complicated condition for liberals, 
or. anyway, for liberal wits and stylists, is 
that so much of the liberal media— the con- 
stricting liberal media— has defaulted to 
a kind of consensus Times-ness. Hence, in 
defensive mode, and in a careful estimation 
of our market opportunities, we are all— 
we well-employed. Ivy League-ish. cultur- 
ally engaged, upper-middle-class chattering 
types in the mainstream news media— self- 
serious, earnest, striving, humorless, cor- 
rect people, seeking to become ever more 
earnest, faultless, evenhanded. We're Hillary 
( or we're her base, and she's courting us by 
becoming as worthy and flat as we are). 

I to put too fine a point on it. but 
liberals, in their desperate quest to be tak- 

en seriously, are the new conservatives. 

Conservative opinionists in the burgeon- 
ing right-wing media— from Fox to talk ra- 
dio to Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard 
to the Wall Street Journal editorial page- 
are, on the other hand, often facile, funny, 
irreverent, eccentric, jaunty, pithy, as well 
as aggressive and wrongheaded (that im- 
probable creature Ann Coulter is all those 
things), as well as operatic (Terri Schiavo 
an opera). As well as. on occasion, in- 
ebriated. (The character note of a liberal 
these days is sobriety— no drinks, no carbs. 
no jokes. The conservatives run amok while 
the liberals are corporatized.) 

Obviously conservatives have reason to 
enjoy themselves, while liberals do not. But 
then. too. it may reasonably be the conser- 
vatives" sense oi .erbal sport, of going too 

far. of showing off. 
that's helped get them 
into their catbird seat. 
.And. conversely the liberals' dullness ar 
depressheness— "little constipated souls." 
the recent description by Ben Bradlee. wr 
is from the liberal media's jaunty age— thai 
contributed to their fate. 

So why no oomph? No joy? No joke 

In the exception-that-proves departmer 
every liberal jumps up at this point d 
manding. "What about Jon Stewart?" 
"And Maureen Dowd." 
"And." add a few liberals in rarefied r 
dio markets. "Air .America and Al Franken 
"Andy Borowitz!" 
"Michael Moore" (but with lessei 


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■ enthusiasm— more and more embar- 
Hingly he mistakes himself for a serious 

Brhese are the humor anomalies (pretty 
■ch the sum total of the humor anom- 
■s). The genre-ists. It's liberal comedy. 
■rhis is part of the liberal-journalism 
los. Editors and libel lawyers insist: if you 
■an it to be funny, you have to make it that it's humor. Literalism— that pre- 
mergers condition of wonks everywhere— 
liar* of liberalism. 

■The conservatives have no appointed 
Iwns. Rather, exaggeration is built into 
lir argument. Is it shtick or isn't it? Peg- 
I Noonan is as exaggerated as Maureen 
liwd, but she isn't regarded as the in- 
luse "crazy lady." The talk-radio screed 
lis amusing as it is incendiary— it's equal 
Irts knee slap and outrage. Seriousness, 
L conservatives recognize, is, or ought to 
I a fluid substance. Here's the answer to 
le elemental question: Why can't liberals 
I) talk radio? Because they don't know 
|>w to tease. 

I The most enjoyable conversations I have 
id about modern media— not often an 
ljoyable subject— have been with Roger 

eral blogs are clearly being written to gain 
the attention of Slate.) 

With revenues of about $6 million a 
year, Slate is, in size and reach, insignifi- 
cant. But in terms of sensibility, it's made 
it big— its self-importance can't be denied. 
It's faithfully Ivy League (the liberal me- 
dia in its heart of hearts is made up of 
people who went to Harvard or who wish 
they'd gone to Harvard). Its cloying tone 
and manner strictly high-S.A.T. We're 
smart people communing with like-minded 
smart people, marveling together at the 
quaint habits of the regular people. We're 
here, the Slate people insist, because we 
have a contribution to make to the intel- 
lectual wealth of the world. It's our duty. 
(The last time I saw Slate's current editor, 
Jacob Weisberg, an ambitious climber up 
the liberal-media ladder, was at a crowd- 
ed bar at the Democratic convention in 
Boston. I'd gotten into the bar because I'd 
cut out early on John Edwards's vacuous 
acceptance speech. Weisberg, because he'd 
uselessly and diligently weathered the 
speech, was trapped, craning his neck, 
on the other side of the velvet rope. Said 
Weisberg, with apparent incredulity, "You 

The hegemony of the Times in liber- 
al journalism is a remarkable devel- 
opment. A generation ago you had a 
national liberal media (called the media, 
rather than the liberal media) that consist- 
ed of powerful network news operations 
with dizzying resources, a catchall of inde- 
pendent Zeitgeist-tracking magazines with 
lots of buzz and glamour, two newsweek- 
lies concentrating on news and opinion 
rather than, as they do now, family and 
lifestyle stuff, a more or less independent 
public television, a (more) vigorous author- 
driven book business, as well as the Times. 
But now you have only the Times and its 
sonorous echo, NPR (the Post, outside of 
its impulsive purchase of Slate, has be- 
come a strictly regional publication). 

The Times defines nearly the sum total of 
liberal respectability— and opportunity. It's 
the employer of first choice and last resort. 
The Times is the market. Your paramount 
job as a provider of liberal opinion and com- 
mentary is to home in on the Times sensi- 
bility—get on that page. 

But back to making jokes. Part of the is- 
sue here is that the Times, having sucked 
everything into its wake, can't admit to hav- 

The Times defines nearly the sum total of liberal respectability. 

iles, the Fox mastermind. He's having fun. 

le's bad. He's a tease. He's out to provoke. 

o create conflict rather than avoid it. 
Does that mean he's not serious? Well 
. Ailes is sly, charming, sometimes far- 

:tched, and irresistibly cynical about ev- 

rybody's motives and everybody's virtue. 

Vhereas we liberals are achingly serious— 

lways. We're good boys. 

Good-boyism is partly about market 
conditions. It's about getting a job. 
The fewer the jobs, the better the 
>oy you have to be. Conservative media is 
i growing market; liberal media is a dwin- 
dling one. In the last decade or so, the con- 
servatives have created all sorts of new and 
moneymaking opinion media. Whereas lib- 
erals have created only— I've really racked 
my brains here— Slate. 

Slate- the Microsoft-supported online 
magazine developed by liberal-media doyen 
Michael Kinsley, which has just been sold, 
it a great premium, to the Washington 
Post Company— is liberal media targeted at 
ather people in the liberal media. Or, even 
more finely, targeted at other people in 
the liberal media who are concerned about 
issues such as the liberal media. (Various 
blogs, including Mickey Kaus's O.C.D.-like 
reading and rereading of the liberal media, 
ire connected to Slate, and many other lib- 

walked out on the vice-presidential accep- 
tance speech?") 

I have never actually met anyone who 
has read Slate who hasn't at one time 
worked at Slate or considered hiring some- 
one who might have worked at Slate. 

That is sort of the point. Slate, which 
came into being as an experiment in new 
media, has become best known for the fact 
that many people who have worked at Slate 
have graduated into jobs in the old liberal 
media. If you are in the old liberal print 
media, and you need to hire somebody, 
the first place you look is Slate (this is not 
hyperbole; this is how it works, really). In 
other words, the primary purpose of the 
only new form of liberal media is to train 
people to work in the old liberal media. 

The real problem with Slate is that no- 
body who works at Slate actually wants to 
be working at Slate. The people who work 
at Slate are not people who get pleasure 
out of telling their parents they work for 
an online magazine. Rather, the kind of 
people who work at Slate want to be work- 
ing at the Times. They may not really even 
want to be in the media or news or writ- 
ing business: they just want to be at The 
New York Times. (The reason The Wash- 
ington Post bought Slate has not a little to 
do with the competition between the Times 
and the Post and this sense of Slate as the 
New York Times farm team.) 

ing done this. The Times, because it is liber- 
al, has to be on the side of multiple voices. 
It can't acknowledge its domination, its 
hegemony— it can't even acknowledge that it 
is liberal (because liberals believe that being 
liberal puts them at a higher station of fair- 
ness and probity). Indeed, by having more 
or less successfully extended its franchise 
across the nation, the Times has to insist 
even more firmly on its neutrality and trans- 
parency. It can't wink the way Fox winks. It 
can't enjoy itself (the fact that so many peo- 
ple at the Times are depressed people might 
have something to do with this). 

Conservatives talk about being conser- 
vative all of the time. Conservatives 
are obsessed with their own identi- 
ty—and eccentricities. It's like talking about 
being Jewish— or like the way Jews once 
talked about being Jewish. It's not just 
defining. It's . . . funny. 

Liberals never talk about being liberals— 
about the oddness that might make them 
unique and interesting. Mindful of their con- 
stant bad press, liberals— self-conscious press 
hounds one and all— don't like to admit to 
being liberals (and as for the people who do 
admit to being liberals, you understand why 
others wouldn't want to admit to being that). 

It's a pretty severe humor limitation 
when you can't be funny about yourself. 

My friend James Atlas, who has spent 

U N E 2 5 VANITY FAIR 111 

a long career in the liberal media, has just 
written a book called My Life in the Middle 
Ages about, among other things. 

iriable and embarrassing angsts of a 
career in the liberal media. It's an old-style 
(read "Jewish"), self-lacerating humor— no 
matter how much crummy success I've 
achieved. I'm a hideous failure— which has 
made, I detect, lots of people in the liberal 
media, who believe they are actually big 
successes, uncomfortable. 

Jim's real subject is status— that essen- 
tial, and perhaps most difficult, liberal is- 
sue. It is the liberals' shameful place (our 
Santa Barbara Neverland). I once got Jim 
into trouble by recounting a conversation 
that he and I have often had about hov. 
much money it takes to be a Manhattan 
liberal. Some time back Jim had estimated 
that it required a minimum annual income 
of S350,000 to maintain a family of four 
in middle-class-liberal style. I quoted him 
as having revised that upward to $500,000 
(this was three or four years ago— what 
with real-estate increases, I'd push it up to 

writer who has ever made a joke— have 
found in the issue of status. 

The book, The New New Journalism, 
edited by Robert Boynton, who teaches 
N.Y.U. undergraduates how to write jour- 
nalism for magazines (one hopes that he 
is not telling his students that there are ac- 
tually journalism jobs at magazines these 
days), and reviewed by Slate's media critic. 
Jack Shafer (an ever vigilant, indefatigable 
school-monitor type), means to formally re- 
vise the long-faded movement of Zeitgeist- 
defining journalists of the 60s and 70s 
(Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, 
Truman Capote, Hunter Thompson, ef al.), 
once called the "New Journalism." 

The New New Journalism (exemplified 
by Eric Schlosser's deadly earnest Fast 
Food Nation, and Newjack, Ted Conover's 
less-than-Dostoyevskian tour of a New 
York State prison as a pretend prison 
guard) rejects, according to Boynton. the 
New Journalism's sociological concern 
with status. Rather, the primary subject 
of these new middle-class liberal jour- 

ture subtlety, "I hate New York magazii 
New York serves liberal journalisr 
tabloid form. Its seminal interests I 
been position, hierarchy, power (both 
to get more and how to make fun of ] 
pie who were getting more). About wk 
subjects it sought— often by way of «j 
geration, metaphor, embellishment, gosl 
and self-evident rapaciousness— to be[ 
tertaining. amusing, provocative, infoH 
tive (in that order). If often pleasuraj 
New York was never quite respectable. I 
The change in the weekly since Moss I 
addition to editing the Times Magazine] 
many years, he is also one of SulzbergJ 
close friends— took over has been the 
radical in New York's near-40-year his 
It's become estimable. Praiseworthy (prl 
ing and reading are different, often inil 
cal functions). Respectable— if no lonl 
pleasurable. (It's now owned by ban] 
Bruce Wasserstein, to whom respectabif 
may be worth more than money. NotJ 
was part of another group, one with mj 
commercial intentions, which tried to 

The character note of a liberal is sobriety— no drinks, no jokes. 

$650,000 now), which seemed hilarious to 
me, Jim and I doing such desperate and 
slapdash accounting. 

Now, killing the joke, I can explain why 
this ought to be funny: Talking about mon- 
ey when you're not supposed to talk about 
money is funny. Trying to quantify status 
when you're not supposed to quantify it 
(it's just supposed to descend on you: 
you're supposed to just deserve it, appar- 
ently) is funny. Saying in public anything 
that is supposed to be merely whispered in 
private is funny. And talking about this at 
all indicates nothing so much as how hope- 
lessly small-time we are. But this comment 
caused Jim piles of grief. For many people 
in the greater liberal media this comment 
meant that Jim was . . . "status-conscious." 
And a double vulgarian for discussing it 
openly. (In part for making such stabs at 
status-breaching humor, Jim details, wittily, 
in his book how he came to be fired from 
The New Yorker, that even higher liberal 
apogee than the Timer.) 

Indeed, in what might be interpreted as 
a not unimportant reading of the tea 
leaves of journalistic standards and prac- 
tices, the Times Book Review recently gave 
prominent notice to a book (the kind of 
book— just a compendium of interviews, 
and a "paperback original" at that— that 
the Times usually deals with perfunctorily) 
which explicitly rejects the meaning and 
humor that Jim Atlas and, in the past, 
David Brooks— and, in some sense, every 

nalists is . . . "the disenfranchised." These 
New New Journalists, says Boynton, "con- 
sider class and race, not status, the pri- 
mary indices of social hierarchy." 

Where practitioners of the old New were 
stylists, practitioners of the New New, ac- 
cording to the book, are focused on facts, 
eschewing what the Times dismisses as 
mere "fancy prose style.'* The book discuss- 
es at great and reverential length the cult 
of John McPhee, a writer of fabled fac- 
tuality and unstylishness, who, I would 
wager, has seldom been read to the end 
by anybody other than his acolytes, called 
McPhinos, many of whom took his class at 
Princeton and are now the New Newists. 

Indeed, nonfiction writing, as it disap- 
pears from the commercial world, has 
made it big on campus. It's called literary 
nonfiction. No jokes please, we're serious. 

Meanwhile, it's been a year since the 
very correct and humorless Adam 
Moss, a former editor of The New- 
York Times Magazine, took over New York 
magazine (I used to work at New York and 
left shortly before Moss arrived), a long- 
time venue for acute status journalism. 

Now, New York has always been, in a 
sense, the un-Tirres place for liberal jour- 
nalists, even the anti-7wjes (New York was 
spun off of the Times's great lost com- 
petitor the New York Herald Tribune). I 
once tried to interview Times publisher 
Arthu; Sulzberger Jr. for New York. But 
he refused, explaining, with his signa- 

New York.) With more words and small 
type, it's hard work too— but good for ya 

It's repositioned itself as a worthy sal 
lite of The New York Times. Like Slate\ 
will undoubtedly graduate lots of people! 
the Times. It's quality. Self-conscious qua! 
(perhaps all quality is). Ivy League qualj 

But it isn't funny. Not in the least, 
completely in earnest. It's serious abej 
its job, grim in its efforts to elevate tj 
metropolitan-area upper middle class. 

Now I am getting older, moving deel 
er. with my friend Atlas, into tf 
middle ages. So it may be that I | 
missing the new trend, the new earned 
ness, the old New York magazine migl 
have headlined it. meet the new old h 
gies. I'd have enjoyed a light essay on tj 
subject by David Brooks. 

Except that, judging by the commercl 
health of the liberal media— not least of I 
its systemic inability to get anybody undl 
middle age interested in it— it may be thl 
all the earnest, respectability-seeking old 1 
gies are on the inside working for the libe 
al media while the wisecracking vulgariai 
are on the outside ignoring it. 

The problem may be that we liberals a 
by temperament job seekers rather than e 
trepreneurs. We're just not outsiders. So 
the Times is the great and encompassir 
and growing liberal info-and-opinion cc 
poration— the only one left— then we've & 
to make ourselves attractive to it. 
Pistols needn't apply. Z 

112 I VANITY F A I R I www.vaniryfair com 

JUNE 209 





; /* 





w » BRIAN 




SAT MAY 21,8 PM! 


S puotll gKt 

Faust in Their Class 


Left to right, Rene Pope, 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Roberto Alagna 

were photographed in New York City 

in March 2005. 

T That's the difference between cinema and opera? To 
take just one example, the dashing young romantic hero played 
by Brad Pitt or Jamie Foxx in the movies is likely to be embodied in 
the opera house by Ben Heppner or Luciano Pavarotti. This month, 
however, the Metropolitan Opera is bringing its season to a close 
with a new production of Gounod's Faust that is a treat for sore 
eyes-three matinee idols on the same stage, all looking as good 
as they sound. French tenor Roberto Alagna is Faust, German 
bass Rene Pape is Mephistopheles, and Russian baritone Dmitri 
Hvorostovsky is Valentin, the brother of Faust's tragic love, Mar- 
guerite. Handsome, virile, all still in their prime after a decade on 
the stages of the world's major opera houses, they represent to- 
gether almost the full range of perfect male sound. 

Alagna's roles range from Rodolfo in La Boheme to Romeo 
Romeo et Juliette, and he often sings opposite his wife, the da 
zling Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. In one world capit 
or another, you can see Pape as Escamillo (the toreador) in Cc 
men or Gurnemanz in Parsifal, and you can thank the timely fall 
the Berlin Wall for allowing this native of Dresden to become tf 
international star he is. The regal-looking Hvorostovsky, renowne 
for his Prince Andrei in War and Peace and his Count di Luna in 
Trovatore, is also in constant demand in concert halls for his recite 
of songs by Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky. In the current Faust, tf 
three gents are conducted by James Levine, directed by Romania 
born Andrei Serban, and joined by Finnish soprano Soile Is 
koski. Only at the Met, folks, only at the Met. -WAYNE LAWSO 

114 | VANITY F A I R | 

PHl .graph by JOHN HUBA 



he # 1 Tasting 

Ddka In The World. 

98. the Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago conducted a blind taste test 
>re than 40 vodkas. They awarded points based on smoothness, nose, 
lost importantly, taste. Of all the vodkas, Grey Goose Vodka 
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ded in 1 98 1, the Beverage Testing Institute conducts tests in 
daily designed lab that minimizes external factors and 
nizes panelists' concentration. The Institute selects 
s based on their expertise, and its tasting and 
ng procedures are widely praised as 
iest in the industry 

e Vodka 

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onsibly «*« 





V * 


John Paul II, 

at the Vatican in 

made more saints tr 

the other Pop 

together since the i 

the Middle 

He Believed in Miracles 

The near-death experience that set John Paul II on the road to the papacy 
gave him a mystical certainty in God's purpose. Surviving an assassination attempt 

in 1981 pushed him further toward the supernatural. Those events became 

the source of both his personal power and the troubling legacy that now confronts 

his closest adviser and spiritual heir, Benedict XVI 

By John Cornwell 

While traveling in Italy in the mid-1980s, I 
stopped at a town called Lanciano, near the 
Adriatic coast, where I discovered a shrine 
that even the most devout Catholics might 
find alarming. In the early Middle Ages, a 
local monk was assailed by doubts while 
celebrating Mass; he could not believe that the bread and wine 
on the altar had become, as Catholics believe, the body and 
blood of Jesus Christ. According to legend, God performed a 
miracle to boost the faith of the monk and of the entire commu- 
nity: in an instant the wine in the chalice be< I human 
blood, and the bread became a piece of flesh U rhick- 
en breast. To this day the items can be viewed by p.igi/rr 
though the wine is now moldy globules in the chalice in whi 

116 | VANITY F A I R | www.vonityfoir com 

is preserved, and the flesh looks like a piece of extremely u 
palatable gray offal. 

It is not an article of faith for Catholics to believe that they a 
literally eating flesh and drinking blood. That would only confir 
the ultra-Protestant view that Catholics are cannibals, at least 
intent. I was therefore astonished to see prominently displayed 
the entrance to the shrine a blown-up photograph of Cardin 
Karol Wojtyla in 1974, just four years before he was elected Pop 
John Paul II, piously venerating, and thereby endorsing, this su 
pect "miracle." 

Cardinal Wojtyla's veneration of the Lanciano cult anticipate 
a key to his papacy that has gone unnoticed in the torrent ( 
obituaries following his death on April 2. More than any othi 
Pontiff in modern history, he promoted the belief that God inte 

JUNE 200 


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venes miraculously and routinely in 
human affairs, and especially in the 
conduct of his own papacy. John Paul 
II will probably be remembered as John 
Paul the Great, but his principal claim 
to immortality, I believe, may be as the 
Pope of the supernatural. His deep at- 
tachment to the miraculous, the visionary, the mystical, and the 
apocalyptic was a form of supernatural realism that bordered on 
unorthodoxy if not downright heresy. It should come as no sur- 
prise that a Pope believes in miracles, but the extreme position 

e was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18. 1920. in Wadowi 

a market town 20 miles southwest of Krakow. Poland 

the year of a great national religious miracle. The cour 

had been struggling to rebuild its independence after more tl 

a century of oppression by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. 

August 16 in the year of his birth, the day after the Feast of 

Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Red Army was defeated i 

battle known to the Poles as the Miracle of the Vistula. The 

tosy was achieved, according to popular belief, not by the Po 

Army but by the direct intervention of the Virgin. As Wojt 

grew up. he revered a copy of the icon of the Black Madonna 

Czestochowa. known as "the Queen of Poland." In the 17th c 

tury the Black Madonna had been credited with saving the 

ish nation from destruction at the hands of Scandinavian horc 

Throughout hfs priestly life. Wojtyla would punctuate his s 

mons with references to Poland's centenaries and jubilees. 

cults and devotions to the Virgin Mary, and especially the I 

of the Black Madonna. As a student he visited the site of 

shrine and the original of the icon at the monastery of Jas 

Gora, and he returned there shortly after he was elected Pope 

copy of the icon of the Black Mador 

took pride of place in his private cha 

in the Vatican. 

He was 9 when his mother died at 
age of 45: his elder brother. Edmund, 
years his senior, died 4 years later of ! 
let fever. Karol was brought up strk 
and alone in Krakow by his father, a n< 
commissioned officer in the Polish Arr 
At school and while the young man 
at the local university, he labored ir 
stone quarry, working outside even 
the savage winters. In 1944 he suffer 
a near-fatal accident, which changed 
life. Crossing a street, he was knock 
down by a truck. As he lay in the hos 
tal, he felt a call to the priesthood. Cle 
ly he had been saved for a purpose. 

He received his theological educati 
in secret, because of the Nazi occupatic 
At one point he thought of becomi 
a member of the Carmelites, an ord 
known for its combination of active 
contemplative roles. Carmelites see the 
selves working for God in the world— the "marketplace"— wh 
making regular retreats to the "mountain" of silence and cc 
templation. He opted in the end to become a diocesan prie 
but the Carmelite spirituality— being in the world but not of il 

HlS deep attachment to the mystical was a form of supernatu 
realism that bordered on unorthodoxy if not downright heresy. 

he took on signs and wonders, prophecies, and the literal oper- 
ation of God's power in the world over the laws of nature explains 
some crucial features of his reign. 

The downfall of Soviet Communism, the antagonisms tanta- 
mount to >chism between Catholic liberals and conservatixes. the 
conflicts over the right-wing Catholic boc\ called Opus Dei. the 
creation of a prodigious number of saints, the tardy contrition of 
America's bishops regarding the scandal of the pedophilia cri- 
sis among Catholic priests— these and many other issues were 
marked and affected by John Paul's unusual relauV h the 


never left him. After the war. and after his ordination, he 
sent to Rome to complete his studies. His doctoral thesis was 
faith in the works of Saint John of the Cross, the 16th-centu 
Spanish mystic. Saint John's notion of the "dark night of tl 
soul" argues that divine knowledge is miraculously infused into 
mind that has been purified by suffering, doubt, and prayer. Tl 
late Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia, remarking on Wojtyk 
thesis, wrote that John Paul had "studied theology on his knees 
Saint John of the Cross calls for the rejection of the appetites ar 
writes in The Living Flame of Love that the soul prays "to bur 
the bonds which bind the spirit and the flesh together, that bo: 

118 VANITY F A I R i www.vonityfoir com 

JUNE 200 


y resume their proper state, for they are by nature different." 
iCaroI took time out from his studies in Rome to visit the 
ine of Padre Pio, the stigmatic monk credited with miracu- 
s powers, in the South of Italy. According to widespread re- 
ts, Padre Pio told Father Wojtyla that he would one day suc- 
:d to the highest position in the Church. The young priest in 
n told Padre Pio that he would become a saint. 

ack in Poland, he attempted to convince young people of 
the need for radical self-denial. He led groups of students 
on grueling hiking and kayaking expeditions and impressed 
them the imperative of chastity as a form of physical and 
ritual fitness. In the mid-1950s he came under the influence of 
doctor named Wanda Poltawska, who advocated family plan- 
lg by a form of self-control reminiscent of athletic training, 
ltawska emphasized an equivalence between contraception and 
ortion due to the loss of fertilized eggs with some forms of 
mtraceptive pill. Her association with Wojtyla would continue 
to his old age. 

Ordained bishop in 1958, at the age of 38, he proved a shrewd 
>ponent of Poland's repressive Communist regime and con- 
med to develop his supernaturalist beliefs while combating 
iarxism-Leninism with a combination of medieval and modern 
hristian philosophies. In the early 1960s he attended the Sec- 
id Vatican Council and spoke out on the difficulties of being a 
itholic bishop under Soviet oppression. In 1967 he was made a 
irdinal by Pope Paul VI. 

The cardinals in Rome were under no illusions as to Karol 
fojtyla's taste for the mystical and the apocalyptic once they 
ad heard him preach a series of sermons in the Vatican in 
^76. just two years before he became Pope. The homilies would 
e collected in a book entitled Sign of Contradiction. He shocked 

the assembled princes of the Church by conjuring up a vision 
of the world as "'ever more a burial ground" and a "vast planet 
of tombs." This notion anticipated the grim message of his pa- 
pacy that the world was gripped by a "culture of death," a new 
Fall of Man, the temptation, through pride, toward illicit sexual 
cravings, homosexuality, the contraceptive mentality, and the 
destruction of life in the womb. In the Book of Revelation the 
Virgin is characterized as a "Second Eve," who will defeat Sa- 
tan, the tempting serpent, and thus complete the redemption of 
the human race. At the end of the series of sermons, he told 
his influential congregation that he was anticipating the third 
millennium of Christianity as the "new Advent for the Church 
and for humanity." This would be nothing less than the Second 
Coming, known by two signs: Christ himself and the Virgin 
Mary, clothed with the sun. 

John Paul was elected Pope on October 16. 1978. following 
John Paul I's untimely death, on the eighth ballot by a clear 
majority of the conclave of cardinals. According to Bishop 
John Magee, secretary to John Paul II, the election of Wojtyla 
had been foretold by John Paul I. the "smiling Pope." Talking 
about John Paul I I's predecessor, who was Pope for only three 
weeks, Magee told me, "He spoke repeatedly of the Foreigner 
who was going to follow him. One day I asked him who this 
Foreigner was, and he replied, 'He it was who sat opposite me 
during the conclave.' The cardinal who sat opposite Papa Lu- 
ciani was Cardinal Wojtyla!" At 58 he was the youngest Pontiff 
since Pius IX, elected almost 150 years earlier. He was the first 
Slavic Pope in history, and his frequent journeys abroad soon es- 
tablished him as a Pope of the people. With his cinematic good 
looks and telling expressions before the cameras, he projected 
the image of a very human Pope. In emulation of the French 


The Original Celebrated 







L E T T E R . . F RO M R OH E 

Pope John Paul II v 1 
to a crowd of net | 
million gathered for a 
, in Gdansk, PoW.4 

His papacy will forever be linked with the downfall of 
the Soviet system. We all sleep more safely in our beds because of hi 

saint John Vianney, he kissed the runway upon arriving at each 
new destination, signifying that he was taking over his parish. 

He visited the United States in October 1979, a year into his 
papacy. The crowds adored him. but his benevolent exterior on 
the television screens of the nation belied the sterner presence he 
exhibited when closeted with his bishops. In Chicago he lectured 
the hierarchy on their failure to denounce contraception, abor- 
tion, homosexuality, and divorce. He berated a congregation of 
religious sisters in Washington, D.C., for their failure to wear 
garb suitable for nuns. As he traveled around the world, he ad- 
monished Catholic leaders on the issues of secularization, the in- 
herent dangers of liberation theology, the need to teach orthodox 
doctrine, and the dangers of enculturation— the tendency to 
merge pagan practices with orthodox Catholicism in the devel- 
oping world. On another visit to the United States, in the mid- 
1990s, he revealed to his academic hosts a powerful distaste 
for American-style democracy, which he associated with selfish- 
ness and materialism. 

Early in his reign. John Paul showed his determination to 
pursue a policy of creating saints unprecedented in the his- 
tory of the Church, and his enthu: ias for canonizations 
revealed a strong conservative agenda. Bi nt-makin g was 

also inextricably linked to the intervention of the ral and 

the exercise of papal inerrancy. When a Pop<_ J n in- 

dividual is a saint, it is an act of infallibility 

A saint, in the view of the Catholic Church, is oiv 

heaven, who merits public veneration, and before whom the fait I 
ful can place their prayers in confidence that they will find fa\l 
in the sight of God. There are two levels of sanctity: those prl 
nounced blessed or beatified (worthy of a local following) ail 
those pronounced saints (worthy of a universal following). Joll 
Paul's saint-making raised individuals and groups of individuals I 
beatification and sainthood in a way that was supposed to rl 
veal heaven's endorsement of highly contentious trends on eartl 
This was exemplified by his breakneck beatification of Josemarl 
Escriva de Balaguer, founder of the controversial reactionarl 
group known as Opus Dei. which had been espoused by ttl 
Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco. On the othJ 
hand. John Paul rejected calls for the beatification of Archbisho 
Oscar Romero, who had been murdered by a right-wing-militi 
assassin while saying Mass in El Salvador on March 24, 198C 
Not since Thomas a Becket. the 12th-century Archbishop of Cai 
terbury, was murdered on the orders of King Henry II has thei 
been a comparable case of obvious martyrdom. But John Pau 
ever wary of left-wing clerics, especially the ones involved in libe 
ation theology, which he had earlier seen as a front for Com mi 
nist infiltration of the Church, remained unenthusiastic about O 
car Romero's potential for sainthood. 

Later. John Paul sanctified Pius IX, the Pope who had pre 
claimed the dogma of papal infallibility in 1870. This was a bea 
ification likely to send all the wrong signals to the clergy of th 
world. Pius IX. it has been claimed by the distinguished Amer 
can historian David Kertzer. was party in 1858 to the kidnappin 




JUNE 200 

inappropriate adoption of a Jewish child, Edgardo Mortara. 

IX used to play with the boy, hiding him under his soutane 

calling out, "Where's the boy?" The world was outraged; no 

r than 20 articles on the subject were published in The New 

Times, and both Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and 

boleon III of France begged Pius to return the child to his 

itful parents, all in vain. 

1 the beginning of John Paul's reign, there were about 11,000 
its in the records of the Church, 10,000 of whom had been 
jects of established cults before the formal process for saint- 
king began at the end of the Middle Ages. John Paul created 
re than 1,000 blesseds and saints by the turn of the millenni- 
; in other words, he made more saints than all the other Popes 
together since the start of the formal process. In May 1999 he 
de a prediction of his own come true by presiding at the beati- 
ition of Padre Pio. On his travels he routinely beatified and can- 
ized individuals, demonstrating that the Church in its holiness is 
extensive with every language and culture. To make more saints 
ter, he even altered the rules, halving the number of miracles re- 
ired for beatification from two to one. 

4 n act of saint-making close to the heart of John Paul II 

ll occurred during the great jubilee year of 2000, when he 

A beatified two long-dead visionaries, Francisco Marto and 

, sister Jacinta. Together with the still-surviving Sister Lucia 

Jesus dos Santos— who would herself die this past February, 

the age of 97— they had witnessed a series of apparitions of 

: Virgin Mary between May 13, 1917, and October 13, 1917, at 

itima, in Portugal. The Virgin's "secret" had included three 

)arts." The first was associated with "the vision of Hell," the 

cond with the coming of World War II. Both the second and 

ird parts mentioned the threat of Communism to the Catholic 

faith and the possibility of the end of the world if Russia con- 
tinued unchecked to spread its atheism. The third part, known 
only to the three visionaries, was due to be unsealed by the 
reigning Pope in 1960. John XXIII opened the document but 
returned it at once to the papal archives without revealing its 
content. Paul VI, his successor, did the same. 

By extraordinary coincidence (although devout followers of 
the Fatima cult would see it as no coincidence at all), John 
Paul was the victim of an assassin's bullet on May 13, 1981, the 
feast day of the Fatima cult, when he was shot by the Turkish 
terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square. Reading the 
third part of the Fatima secret after he returned to the Vatican 
from the hospital, he was convinced that the prophecy made 
all those years ago had been about him. It spoke of "the Holy 
Father" being shot by "a group of soldiers." John Paul's con- 
viction about the interventionist role of the supernatural in the 
history of the world thus became evident to him in a personal, 
revelatory way. He had evidently been saved for a divine pur- 
pose, which, obviously, was to fulfill his papal agenda. When 
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of state in the Vatican, fi- 
nally read out an interpretation of the third part of the secret 
of Fatima to the world on May 13, 2000, he said that the im- 
agery of the "prophetic vision" was reminiscent of Scripture. 
The implication was that John Paul's central role in the Fatima 
cult was now an item of faith. 

What did this mean for Catholics? The Fatima cult, with 
its secret, suggests that human history is not shaped by 
human beings taking responsibility for their actions in 
their communities and societies but rather by divine interven- 
tions mediated by Mary and endorsed by the Pope. The Fatima 
cult smacks mightily of the creed known as Gnosticism, which 


The Original Celebrated 








promises salvation through occult knowledge. In a memorable 
declaration made two years before he became Pope, John Paul 
spoke of evil being beyond hi; <ons ; bility and under- 

standing. "The evil which exists ild." he said, "seems to 

be -reater than ever, much greater than the evil for which each 
of us feels personally responsible"' Such a not >i lends credence 
to a form of institutionalized denial of responsibility, with far- 
reaching implications for Catholic ethics, including the way in 
which the Church has understood and confronted the evil of 
child-molesting priests throughout the world, especially in the 
United States. 

The darkest legacy of John Paul's papacy is the degradation 
of the image of the Catholic priesthood. When he finally spoke 
about the priestly-abuse scandals, he did so in supernatural 
rather than criminal terms. Writing to the world's priests from 
Rome on Holy Thursday 2002, he said, "We are personally and 
profoundly afflicted by the sins of some of our brothers who 
have betrayed the grace of Ordination in succumbing even to the 
most grievous forms of the mysterium iniquitatis at work in the 
world." Mysterium iniquitatis, the mystery of evil, evokes a very 
precise scriptural reference— in II Thessalonians 2:7— to the com- 
ing of the •Wicked" Satan. The comment distances the perpe- 
trators, and indeed the Church, from responsibility, for it implies 

that the priests in question did not set out to abuse young pe| 
but were enticed to do so by Satan. 

Just as John Paul denied that the Church or the papacy I 
ried any responsibility for anti-Semitism in modern times, sd 
disdained to offer a thorough apology to the victims of sej 
abuse. Until the pedophile crisis hit the Church, people, yc 
people in particular, were only too willing to trust their pr j 
and endow them with a respect derived from the sanctity of 
priesthood rather than the integrity of the individuals thj 
selves. John Paul missed the greatest opportunity of his reig 
setting his face against the true weakness in his Church, wl) 
was a faulty system of formation for the priesthood and an 
more faulty system of recruitment. In denying ordinatior| 
women and to married men he failed to see that the greatest 
toral requirement is not the sexual or gender orientation or| 
marital status of ordinands but their degree of responsible 
mature behavior. Few young people today are coming forward 
devote their lives to the priesthood, and priestly vocations are | 
being encouraged by Catholic families, even Catholic mother 

In his early academic studies, John Paul interpreted mystic I 
in a theologically orthodox fashion. He saw it as the freely wii 
meeting of two individuals: the human person and the person 
Jesus Christ. In middle age, particularly after the attempt on J 

Heading the third part of the Fatima secret, he was convinc 
that the prophecy made all those years ago had been about hi] 



life, he was inclined to focus on a m\ 
vulgar and egocentric notion of the 
tical. His conviction that he had a dirl 
line to God, and that he had been sa^ 
from death in order to fulfill a divir 
ordained mission, appears to have fostej 
his extraordinary sense of certitude. 

By the mere fact of rescuing the thj 
part of the secret of Fatima from ob 
ion— most Catholics, after all. had m< 
or less forgotten about it— John Paul 
couraged an enthusiasm for the paran 
mal in popular Catholic piety and blun 
the margins between private visions a 
the public revelation of the Church 
Scripture and tradition. He who hoi 
the power to make "private revelatioi 
public ones (or articles of faith) in tl 
way exerts a vastly unequal power o\ 
the rest of the Catholic community, 
eluding the bishops. 

As the Catholic cardinals gathered 
Rome in early April for the Pop 
funeral, they began to talk in sm 
and large circles about the problems 
the Church. There was much discussi 
about John Paul II and the Second Vt 
can Council. Had John Paul fulfilled t 
wishes of the bishops expressed at tb 
great meeting? The council, which w 
called by John XXIII and lasted fro 
1962 to 1965, had rejected the highly a. 
tralized Church of John's 20th-centu 
predecessors. Many sweeping decisio 
were made, carrying the authority of a oj 

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ive consensus. There was a new emphasis on history, accessi- 
liturgy. the Holy Spirit and love, community, and the impor- 
Ice of women. Human rights, religious liberty for all. under- 
med by an endorsement of social and political pluralism, 
>uld replace the notion that "error has no rights." Individual 
nscience was to be given greater scope in ethics. The defensive 
adel model of the Church would be replaced by a "pilgrim 
ople of God" on the move. There was to be greater stress on 
ilical studies and a call for dialogue with non-Catholics. But 

Ip single most important decision was the recognition of a need 
- shared authority between the bishops and the Pope, known 
collegiality. The resolution to grant the bishops a greater say 
I pastoral and doctrinal issues signaled an end to absolutist, 
ntralized authority of papal rule. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^— 
eluding the relatively recent im- 
.-rative. dating only from 1917. 
at the Pope alone had the pow- 
to nominate new bishops. 
Paul VI, who was Pope before 
'hn Paul I, paid lip service to 
illegiality. then dithered when it 
ime to implementation. In fact, 
is disregard for the views of the 
orld's bishops resulted in the 
actionary encyclical Humanae 

Kitae ( 1968), which confirmed the 
an on contraception. It was a 
\ocument of supreme papal dog- 

natism by a Pope who was deter- 

nined in the final analysis to act 

ilone and from on high. It wid- 

ned the growing split between 

iberals and conservatives inherit- 
ed by John Paul II. When John 
■^aul II first appeared on the bal- 

ony above St. Peter's Square, 

he moderates believed that this 
was a Pope who would encourage, 
at last, the neglected collegial re- 
forms of Vatican II. Few suspect- 

gether before marriage. In Africa, he preached the evil of using 
condoms, even when one of the partners in a marriage was in- 
fected with H.I.V. Women in general fared badly under John 
Paul II. He constantly held up the Virgin Mary as the perfect fe- 
male model of acquiescence while claiming that he had discov- 
ered a "new feminism." 

The Second Vatican Council, it is true, had not held out any 
hope of allowing divorce for Catholics, but many of the world's 
bishops were interested in rethinking the ban on contraception. 
Even under Paul VI, priests were urged to exercise the internal- 
forum solution— compassion for the individual circumstances 
of those who had remarried. But John Paul II had by the mid- 
1990s hardened his attitude to the point where he declared in 


Pope John Paul II in 
Nigeria, 1982. He visited 
more countries than any 
other modern Pope. 

With JUS Cinematic good looks and telling expressions before 
the cameras, he projected the image of a very human Pope. 

ed the extent to which he would disappoint the liberal wing of 
the Church, prompting defections from Catholic practice and an- 
tagonisms that threaten division and schism the world over, espe- 
cially in the United States, where the bishops are sharply divided 
from the academic theologians. 

John Paul's papacy will forever be linked with the process 
that led to the downfall of the Soviet system. We all sleep 
more safely in our beds because of him. To the world in 
general and to many who are not bound by his strictures, he was 
a heroic figure who stuck to his principles to the very end. With- 
in the Church, it is another matter. He demoralized countless 
millions of Catholics by the narrow focus of his views on sexual 
ethics. He denounced homosexuality and disciplined those who 
attempted to create special ministries for the spiritual welfare of 
gays, such as Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nu- 
gent in America. He denied Holy Communion to people who 
had remarried without an annulment, and he insisted that con- 
traception is a grave sin, as is the practice of couples' living to- 

his encyclical Veritatis Splendor (Splendor of the Truth, 1993) 
that contraception was intrinsically evil, and that there could 
be no exceptions as a matter of conscience. In the final years 
of his life he constantly made connections between offenses 
against sexual morality as well as abortion, euthanasia, and em- 
bryonic research, and what he called the "culture of death," 
proclaiming in his last published work, Memory and Identity 
(2005), that countries that allowed abortion were no better 
than the Nazi regime. 

As he got older and more debilitated, the year of the third mil- 
lennium of Christianity was constantly in his thoughts, and he was 
increasingly inclined to place his trust in celestial control of histo- 
ry in preference to human, earthbound responsibilities. His pyra- 
midal notion of the function of the papacy, the cult of his papal 
personality, seemed to encourage an epic self-centeredness. The 
more central, holy, and autocratic the Pope, the less significant 
his bishops, his clergy, and the laity. A token of the soaring cult of 
John Paul's personality: in his native Poland, most churches now 
have on prominent show an outsize statue of him. As a Polish cor- 




Cardinal Jose 

Ratzinger and Po 

John Paul II at the al 

of St. Peter's Basili. 

Easter 20C 



r / 


Benedict A VI may be less of a disaster than the liberals envisage] 
and more of a contrast with John Paul II than they realize. 

respondent for the international Catholic weekly The Tablet noted 
at Christmas 2003, "To my knowledge no other public figure has 
had so many statues erected in his lifetime, except Joseph Stalin." 

In the run-up to the conclave following the death of John Paul 
II. the cardinals met every day in what is known as a general 
congregation, held in the New Synod Hall in the Vatican. They 
discussed in great secrecy the problems of the Church in the 
world and the sort of man who ideally should be Pope for the 
years ahead. The Catholic Church is in urgent need of a Pope 
who is secure in the collective consensus of collegiality and who is 
not driven by an individual certitude based on mystical convictions 
and supernatural prognostications. Before the Pope died, one of 
the great metropolitan cardinal archbishops, Cormac Murphy- 
O'Connor, of Westminster, England, said, "What collegiality 
means [is] the Pope in communion with the bishops. Never Pe- 
ter without the eleven; never the eleven without Peter." Murphy- 
O'Connor is typical of the cardinals chosen by John Paul, a cau- 
tious conservative who has toed the papal line, but his remark 
reveals the tide of opinion among the majority of non-Curial 
cardinals: for a return to the spirit of the Second Vatican Coun- 
cil, a return to collegiality. 

124 I VANITY F A I R I www.vonilyloir . 

On April 19, after two days and on the third ballot, the cardi- 
nals chose as their new Pontiff Joseph Ratzinger, the 7 8 -year-old 
German cardinal who was dean of the College of Cardinals and | 
former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
The liberal wing of the Church was understandably dismayed, 
while the conservative wing gave full vent to a sense of triumphalism. 
And yet the new Pope, who took the name Benedict XVI, may be 
just slightly less of a disaster than the liberals envisage, and more 
of a contrast with John Paul II than they realize. Joseph Ratzinger 
will be a strong Pope and will hold the line. But, as he himself has 
put it, he is a "simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the 
Lord." He is no supernatural Pope. It was Cardinal Ratzinger who, 
after the announcement of the third part of the secret of Fatima 
in May 2000, published a commentary distinguishing between the 
meaning of public revelation, to be found exclusively in Scripture, 
and private revelations, the prophecies and apparitions of seers. 
Essentially it was a quiet rebuke to the Pontiff. The cardinal was 
putting distance between himself and the combined enthusiasm of 
John Paul II and Cardinal Angelo Sodano. He was saying that 
there are no hotlines to God. Whatever Joseph Ratzinger's draw- 
backs may be, that message emphatically redefines the papal office 
after the 26-year reign of the mystical super-Pope. □ 

JUNE 2005 



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Your ideas become reality. 



Michael Finkel i 

his office, near Bozemar 

Montana, in Marcr 

Finkel and Christian Long 

exchanged nearly 1,0 OC 

pages of material ar 

spoke on the phone fo 

more than 50 houn 


Fired by The New York Times Magazine 
for creating a composite character, 
the author then discovered a horrifying 

link to a wanted killer. Christian Lon°;o. 
In an excerpt from his book, 
he describes how the relationship that 
de\ eloped with Lorigo led to an 
examination of his ow 


his is a true story. Sometimes— pretty much al 
the time— I wish that parts of this story weren' 
true, but the whole thing is. I feel the need U 
emphasize this truthfulness, right here at th< 
start, for two reasons. The first is that a few o 
the coincidences in this account may seem beyond the 
bounds of probability, and I'd like to affirm that every 
thing herein, to the best of my abilities, has been accu 
rately reported: Every quote, every description, every de- 
tail was gathered by me through either personal observa- 
tion, an interview, a letter, a police report, or evidence pre- 
sented in a court of law. No names have been changed, 
no identifying specifics altered. Anything I did not feel 
certain of. I left out. 

The second reason is painful for me to admit. The sec- 
ond reason I am making such an overt declaration of 
honesty is that, relatively recently. I was fired from one of 
the more prestigious journalism jobs in the world— writer 
for Tlie New York Times Magazine— for passing off as true 

Excerpted from True Stem-: Murder. Memoir. Meet Culpa, by 
Michael Finkel. to be published in June by HarperCollins; © 2005 1 
by the author. 

126 VANITY FAIR) www.vonByfoJr.coir PHO'~, . - h BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON 

JUNE 2005 

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ed in February of 2002, 
soon after I was caught. The following 
dde my dismissal public 
by publishing a six-paragraph article, on 
page A3, under the title Editors" Note. 
The article's final line announced that I 
would no longer work for The New York 
rimes. This was sure to spark further con- 
demnation—and, I feared, represented the 
guillotining of my writing career. When 
someone in the fraternity of journalists fails, 
it's important for the profession to demon- 
strate that it can be at least as fierce toward 
its own as it is toward others. 

Less than 90 minutes before the Editors" 
Note was likely to be posted on the Titnes'% 
online edition, my phone rang. I answered. 
It was a correspondent for the Portland Ore- 
gonian; his name, he said, was Matt Sabo. 
He asked to speak with Michael Finkel of 
The New York Times. I took a breath, steeled 
myself, and said, resignedly. '"Well, congrat- 
ulations. You're the first to call." 

"I"m the first?"' he said. 

"Yes." I said. "'You're the first. I didn't 
think anyone would call until tomorrow, af- 
ter the story runs" 

"No," he told me. "the story isn't run- 
ning until Sunday." 

"'No," I said, "it's running tomorrow— it's 
already at the presses.'" 

"But I'm still writing it." he said, ''so it 
won't be in until Sunday." 

"'What are you talking about?" I said. 

"What are you talking about?" he said. 

"I'm talking about the Editors' Note," I 
said. "Isn't that what you're talking about?" 

"No." he said. "I'm calling about the 


here were, it turned out, four murders. 
The first body was discovered on the 
morning of December 19, 2001, in the 
town of Waldport. Oregon, in a muddy- 
pond about a mile inland from the Pacific 
Ocean. It was a voung bov. floating face- 

had filed a missing-persons report wi 
the local police. No one knew the chilj 
name. A photograph of the dead b( 
tastefully retouched— his hair tousled, 
eves shut— was distributed to the local 
dia, in hopes that someone could he 
identify him. 

Three days after the body was found, 
local sheriff's office dive team performec 
search of the pond. Near the concrete 
Ions of a narrow bridge, in seven feet 
water, the divers made a curious find— a 
lowcase. The pillowcase was printed wij 

There'd been an inflation of ego. I'd become so 
manic and arrogant that I assumed the rules 
of journalism no longer applied to me. 

down a few feet off the rocky shore. A sher- 
iff's lieutenant called to the scene estimat- 
ed that the boy was between four and six 
years old. He had dusty-blond hair and 
brownish green eyes. He was wearing only 
a pair of underpants, white with blue and 
green pinstripes. 

There was no identification on the body, 
and no obvious sign of injury. No one 


A Slave? 





Above, the November 18, 
2001, issue of The New 
York Times Magazine, 
containing Finkel's article 
with the composite 
character; right, the 
Times 's acknowledgment 
of Finkel's false 


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^second yea, ,?***' -ststavine 
^m° e > and it -._.. . P*** rum r*»f_ 

characters from the Rugrats television ca 
toon. Inside it was a large rock. 

Later in the day, the divers made anotl 
er discovery: the body of a girl. She wa 
younger than the boy, but had the sam 
slightly upturned nose and the same rounc 
ed cheeks. She, too, was dressed only in 
pair of underpants. As with the bov. ru 
body displayed no signs of trauma. 

Tied to the girl's right ankle, though, wa 
a pillowcase, this one with a floral print, 
side the pillowcase was another large rock 
the weight had held the girls body undent 
ter. The boy. it seemed clear, had been sin 
ilarly weighted, but had slipped free of hj 
pillowcase and floated to the surface. Th« 
discovery of a second dead child initiatec 
the most extensive criminal investigation ir 
the history of Lincoln County. Oregon. 

Some answers were finally provided by 

woman named Denise Thompson. She had 

babysat the children. Thompson told inv es- 

tigators, on Saturday evening, December 15J 

four days before the first body was found. 

She'd seen the photograph of the bov that] 

had been released to the mediaj 

and later identified both bodies.! 

The bov. authorities an-| 

— ^er 

i totnaJce 

E««tofs' Note 

s return to j I 


Tetter- byM 
e *Perience, 

Ms notes she 

^ the Childr; 

Z**. approximate 

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-,adie Longo, three 
and a half years old. Still missing from 
the family was another sister. two-vear-old 
Madison Longo, as well as the children's 
parents— Mary Jane Longo, 34. and Chris- 
tian Longo. 27 The family lived in the 
town of Newport. 12 miles north of the 
crime scene. The Longos were new to the 
region; they had moved to Oregon from 
Ohio three months before. 

The whereabouts of the other three 
members of the Longo family were un- 
known. Thompson, though, told in- 
vestigators that she had eaten lunch with 
Christian Longo on the very afternoon that 
his son's body was found. They'd met that 
Wednesday at two o'clock— a few hours af- 
ter Zachery had floated to the pond's sur- 
face—at the Fred Meyer department store, 
where both Longo and Thompson worked. 
At the time, Thompson had not yet heard 
of the boy's discovery, and neither, it 
seemed, had Longo. 

In fact, as Thompson informed the sher- 
iff's office, at this lunch Longo claimed 
that his wife had just left him for another 
man. MaryJane had taken their three 
children, Longo said, and flown to Michi- 

minium. Just below a wooden ramp lead- 
ing to docks where dozens of sailboats were 
moored, the divers retrieved two large, dark- 
green suitcases. 

One of the suitcases appeared to have 
a bit of human hair emerging from the zip- 
per. Inside, bent into a fetal position, was 
the body of MaryJane Longo. She was 
nude. A mixture of blood and water was 
seeping from her nose and mouth: later, the 
medical examiner determined the cause of 

I stared for a couple of beats too long. But his 
eyes revealed nothing. He said, "I just wanted to 
do the best I could for my family." 

gan. This news came as a shock to Thomp- 
son: she and her husband had become 
friends with the Longos and had not sensed 
that anything was amiss. 

Officers promptly searched the Longos' 
last known residence, a rental condomin- 
ium on Newport's Yaquina Bay. It ap- 
peared as though the family had abruptly 
moved out. The condominium's furnish- 
ings were still there, but all of the family's 
possessions were r cept for two stuffed 

animals— a Clifford the Big Red Dog and 
a Scooby-Doo— which were founc 
closet. Many of the Longos' persi na! be- 
longings, including baby clothing, family 
photos, and a wallet containing ( 
Longo's driver's license, were fou 
a nearby Dumpster. In the plu 
the Longo children appeared happ\ 

On December 27. 2001, eigh, days af- 
ter the first body had been found, divers 
searched the waters in front of the condo- 

death to have been "manual strangulation." 
The second suitcase was also opened. 
Inside was a pile of clothing and the body 
of two-year-old Madison Longo. There 
was no blood on her body and no obvi- 
ous injury. She was wearing a frog- 
patterned diaper. She'd been strangled, 
according to the medical examiner, then 
placed in the suitcase and dropped into 
the water. 

The story that resulted in my firing from 
The New York Times was supposed to 
be about child slavery and chocolate. 
It was assigned by the magazine's editors, 
who mailed me a package of materials that 
! ed a videotape of a documentary en- 
avery, which had been produced by 
">a f highly regarded British filmmak- 

n on British television, 
i tid that about half of the 

world the primary ingredient in 

chocv rown on plantations in the 

central valleys of the Ivory Coast, in 
Africa. Many of these plantations. acc< 
ing to the documentary, are workedl 
teenage and pre-teenage boys who are tl 
ficked in from poorer neighboring col 
tries. Rather than being paid for their wq 
these boys are enslaved. They labor 
dawn to dusk; they are scarcely fed; \\ 
are locked each night in cramped, 
less rooms; they receive no medical ca 
they are frequently whipped. 


Christian L 

listens to a w 

on March II, 2< 

during his murdei 

in Newport, Ore 

"When you're beaten," one boy said 
the film, according to the subtitles, "yoi 
clothes are taken off and your hands tie* 
You're thrown on the floor, and then bea 
en— beaten really viciously— twice a da 
once in the morning and once in the afte 
noon.'" Runaways who are captured, h 
added, are sometimes beaten until the 
can't move, and are never seen again. 

It was a haunting film, probing what wa 
clearly an important topic. My editor tol 
me that this was expected to be a cover ai 
tide. I had recently signed an exclusiv 
contract with The New York Times Maga 
zine and had. in the past year, written thro 
cover stories— one about Haitian refugees 
another about violence in the Gaza Strip 
and a third describing the internationa 
black market in human organs. 

Before signing on with the Times. I'c 
spent 12 years writing travel articles am 
sports stories. My main source of income 
for much of my career, had been Skiing 
magazine. The reception I now receivec 
for my Times pieces was overwhelming 
Hundreds of people, including a con 
gressman. wrote letters in response to the 
Gaza story: I was given a S 10.000 Living- 
ston Award for being a "superior" young 
journalist. I was 32 years old. single and 

I :{o 




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lergetic and intoxicated by the attention, 
agreed to write the slave story, and in 
jne of 2001, I flew to the Ivory Coast. 

he story, as is often the case with news 

cycles, had just become a hot one. The 

Chicago Sun-Times had already run 

imething on it, as had National Public 

adio and Newsweek. A writer for Knight 

idder, the second-largest newspaper chain 

the United States, had just spent sever- 

wceks in the area. 

But after a few days in the Ivory Coast, I 

gan to sense that the story was not quite 

hat it seemed. Even with allowances for lan- 

uage barriers, many of the stories the child 

aves told me sounded remarkably similar. 

level of detail seemed missing. The narra- 

ons felt overly rote and unemotional for 

jch disturbing experiences. No matter how I 

tirased the questions, the answers I heard 

id a faint whiff of falseness about them. 

One morning, an official with the Ma- 

an Association in Daloa— a local group 

using money to help increase awareness 

the slavery problem— arranged for me to 

peak with a 21-year-old cocoa-plantation 

worker who had attempted to escape sev- 

ral months before he was finally released 

the plantation's owner. The interview 

ook place in the association's cramped 

inder-block office. 

This is what the worker said to me, as 
elated by my translator: "I tried to escape 
nd I was caught and beaten. When they 
atch you they take your clothes off and 
e your hands." At this point, he stood up 
rom the wooden bench he'd been sitting 
>n and demonstrated, pressing his wrists 
ogether in front of him and leaning slight- 
y forward. I'd seen the same re-enactment 
>y several other boys. "I was hit with a fan 
elt from a motor. On my back." I asked 
lim if he had bled, and he said, "Yes, there 
vas much blood." 

In the Sla\>ery documentary, one child de- 
cribed what became of such lesions. "After 
<ou were beaten," he said, "your body had 
;uts and wounds everywhere. Then the flies 
.vould infect the wounds, so they'd fill with 
ous. You had to recover while you worked." 
I asked the boy if he would mind taking 
jff his shirt. He was wearing a threadbare 
jxford that had likely been donated by an 
iid agency. He looked at me with partly 
flooded eyes— we were both embarrassed— 
and then, still standing and facing me, 
tie began to unbutton his shirt. When he 
reached the last button, he pulled his arms 
through the sleeves and held the shirt 
balled up in his hands. 

I asked him to please turn around. My 
translator translated, and he turned slowly 
around. I really wasn't surprised. There was 
not a nick, not a scratch, not so much as 
the slightest shadow of a scar. 

Over the next several days, I investigated 
the plantations myself, walking with my 
translator along jungle paths, conducting 
interviews at each stop. In the British doc- 
umentary, the president of the Malian As- 
sociation, a middle-aged man named Diabe 
Dembele, said, "You'll find slavery on at 
least 90 percent of the plantations." 

During my walks, I visited more than 
25 plantations. I arrived unannounced, so 
that no one would have time to hide any- 
thing. I spoke with more than 60 workers 
who'd been brought to the plantations from 
neighboring countries. Almost all told me 
they were at least 18. None said they had 
been badly beaten; no one mentioned that 
he felt afraid or was planning to run away. 

Several plantation owners spoke with me 
at length. They told me about people called 
locateurs— men who bring farmhands from 
poor villages in other countries to plantations 
in the Ivory Coast. Yes, the plantation own- 
ers told me, they did pay the locateurs for the 
workers, and yes, this purchase price was 
taken out of each worker's salary. They were 
very open about these transactions; two own- 
ers even showed me their accounting books. 

On the majority of plantations I visited, 
the living conditions of the owner's family 
were similar to those of the laborers. Life 
was short and hard for everyone. One owner 
listened attentively to my translator as I spoke 
about the slavery accusations and the British 
video and the possibility of an international 
boycott of Ivorian cocoa. "We are not talk- 
ing about slavery," he said, when I was fin- 
ished. "We are talking about poverty." 

A few days later I drove across the border 
into Mali, to the city of Sikasso. The relief 
agency Save the Children Canada had re- 
cently opened a rehabilitation center there 
to help treat the child-trafficking victims 
of West Africa for psychological problems. 
The facility is named Horon So— "Freedom 
Center." When I visited, Horon So's di- 
rector was a psychologist named Ibrahim 
Haidara. A few months later, he left. 

"I don't accept the word 'slave' to describe 
these kids," he said to me. "I have not seen 
any evidence of abuse from those coming 
back. Almost all of these children want to 
go. For them, the Ivory Coast is a paradise." 
Most boys, he explained, have worked on 
family farms, but for this work they are not 
paid. There are very few paying jobs available 
in Mali, Haidara said, but in the Ivory Coast 
there are jobs, so the boys cross the border. 

"Generally," Haidara said, "the children 
leave their home villages to get something 
they've wanted. They want what they don't 
have. The boys want bicycles, a radio, good 
clothes. They want basketball shoes. They 
know all the brand names. They want Nike 
basketball shoes. That is their dream." 

After three weeks in Africa, I realized I 
had my story. If you believed everything 

To learn more about ROBERTO COIN, 
visit or call 1-800-853-5958. 

i U N E 2 5 

d your 
;re was slavery 
te about the real problem: 
ite about the crushing cycle of 
poverty, and about the suffering that young 
pcop'c were willing to endure in order to 
eke out a living. At the same time, I wanted 
to explain how the media can generate mis- 
understandings, and how aid agencies can 
perpetuate these errors. I wanted to demon- 
strate how we can sometimes see what we're 
looking for instead of what really exists. So 
I packed my belongings and flew home. 

I described the idea to Ilena Silverman, 
my editor at The New York Times Maga- 
zine. Silverman, though, said she wasn't 
particularly interested in yet another stor> 
accusing the media of getting everything 
wrong. Instead, she suggested that I pre- 
sent all of these issues more palatably, per- 
haps by telling a detailed story of one boy. 
Weave an intimate 

portrait of a single laborer, she said, and 
through this one worker artfully clarify 
the fine line between slavery and poverty. 
"Could you do that?" she asked me. 

Silverman's idea, the tale of one boy, 
seemed less complicated than mine, 
and possibly more profound. There was 
some part of me that knew right then, 
however, that I could not ful- 
fill my editor's request. I 
should have said so immedi- 
ately. But I sensed that my 
success as a writer was al- 
most solely in Silverman's 
hands, and I felt a powerful 
need to please her. 

Could I write a story about 
one boy? I told my editor I 

What I did was take a 
handful of interviews and 
meld them together. 1 lifted details and 
quotes from several laborers' stories and in- 
vented a single character, a person I called 
Youssouf Male, which was the name of 
one of the workers I'd actually met. I didn't 
tell my editor what I'd done. Not only that. 

I amplified my deception by mailing a pho- 
tograph of another boy who was part of 
my composite character. His real name was 
Madou Traore, but I said he was Youssouf 
Male. It was a brazen act, but that is what 
I did. 

Then I was caught. In the article. I'd 
suggested that Save the Children Canada's 
mission in the region— counseling the vic- 
tims of trafficking— was perhaps addressing 
the wrong problem. The aid agency was 
displeased with my article and sent staff 
members into the Malian countryside. They 

I realized, too, that what I'd done withl 
Times article wasn't entirely a rand| 
event. There 'd been an inflation of i 
a buildup of stress, and a need to ml 
every story I wrote bigger, and better, 
more daring. By the time I handed in 
West Africa story, I'd become so mal 
and arrogant that I assumed the rules| 
journalism no longer applied to me. 

For hours at a stretch, I lay prone on 
upstairs sofa, burrowed beneath my laj 
dry pile. Or else I paced back and fol 
in my bedroom. When my head began! 

As his finances fell into a tailspin, Longo resorte 
to crime. First he stole a new minivan. Then 
he began cashing counterfeit checks. 

found the real "Youssouf Male," 
interviewed him at length, and 
learned that his story and mine 
did not match. They also discov- 
ered that I'd sent in the wrong 

Backed into a corner, I tried 
to sneak out behind a haze of 
verbiage. I responded to Save 
the Children Canada's ques- 


Top, MaryJane 
Longo (in a photo 
taken by her son, 
Zachery) in the 
passenger seat of 
the Montana minivan 
her husband stole. 
Above, the three 
Longo children — 
Sadie, Madison, and 
Zachery — in 2000. 

tions with e-mails 
in which I attempted to explain 
my actions without actually say- 
ing I'd done anything wrong. "I 
wanted to do something a little 
different," I wrote. "I was really 
hoping to compose a story that 
would sing, in a way— that would 
have a single sustained voice." But 
Save the Children Canada did not 
fall for my tricks. 

After my firing, I exiled myself 
to the upper floor of my home, a few miles 
outside the town of Bozeman, Montana. I 
had squandered my career through stu- 
pidity and hubris. I'd be exposed, pub- 
licly, as a i. a stink you can never fully 
wash off I had caused my own downfall. 

pound— when I was so furious at mys< 
that my vision went fuzzy— I'd clamp 
palms over my ears and yell at the ceili: 
until my breath gave out. 

It was at this point that the reporter 

the Oregonian phoned. At first, our convf 

sation was confusing. The reporter sa 

that he was calling about Christian Long 

Until that instant, I had never heard 

Christian Longo. The reporter told me th 

he was working on a lengthy piece aboi 

the crimes Longo had been accused c 

about his flight from the law, about tl 

details of his capture. 

"But why are you calling me?" I askei 
The reporter explained. Longo ha 
fled to Mexico and changed his ident 
ty, which is not a surprising action for 
fugitive who'd been placed on the F.B.I. 
Ten Most Wanted list. But rather tha 
creating a fictitious alias, he took on 
real one. And apparently he had done a 
excellent job convincing others of his ne\ 

While Christian Longo was in Mexicc 
wanted for the murder of his wife and threi 
young children, he pretended to be a joui 
nalist. He chatted with other tourists abou 
the stories he had written; he said he wa 
in the Canciin area on assignment. He tool 
notes. He teamed up with a photographer 
And his name and newspaper, he told mam 
of the people he met, was Michael Finke 
of Vie New York Times. 

The story the Oregonian reporter told me 
was so absurd and unexpected, anc 
delivered with such impeccable timing 
that it slapped me from my brooding. Or 
March 6. 2002. two weeks after the Edi- 
tors' Note appeared, I wrote Longo a letter. 

i :t h 


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I . 

■!. There was no reply, 
lawyers, it seemed that Lon- 
go was not speaking with anyone. In jail, 
he was being held under administrative- 
segregation status, which meant that he 
was alone in his cell and alone for all of 
his meals. 

Then, on April 9, as I was parked at a 
desert overlook near the town of Moab. 
Utah, in the midst of a 5,000-mile road 
trip I'd undertaken in a futile attempt to es- 
cape from my shame, my cell phone rang 
and it was Christian Longo. 

There was no salutation, no small talk. 
He greeted me with a question. "How dc 
I know," he asked, "that this is the real 
Michael Finkel?" 

I was taken by surprise. "I'm not really 
sure how to answer," I said. "I don't sup- 
pose you know my Social Security num- 
ber or my mother's maiden name?" 

"I don't," said Longo. 

"Well," I said. "I think you're going to 
have to take it on faith." 

"Not good enough." he said. "Any jour- 

Longo said my articles appealed to him. 
He'd always thought, he said, that if he were 
to become a journalist he'd want to write 
the same sorts of stories that I wrote. He 
knew enough about my articles, he added, 
that he had been able to impersonate me 
confidently while in Mexico. He explained 
all this in a droll, relaxed manner. "You 
have a writing style." he sa^d, "that I wasn't 
embarrassed to call my own." 

In other words, Longo was a fan. And 
there is perhaps nothing more dangerous 
to a writer's common sense than encoun- 
tering an enthusiastic reader of his work, 
even if he's calling collect from county jail. 
During our conversation, I jotted quotes 
and impressions in a notebook, and as 
Longo continued to praise my work, my 
objectivity began to soften. "A v. nice guy," 
I wrote down. 

When we'd spoken on the phone for 
nearly an hour, there was a loud beep on 
the line. Longo told me that this was the 
jail's indication that we had only a few sec- 
onds remaining before the line was cut. I 
took this moment to ask him if I could 
come for a visit. 

There was nothing about Longo that seemed 
remotely scary, and he was sealed off behind a slab 
of bulletproof glass. But despite this I felt a twinge 
of stomach-tightening fear. 

nalist could've written me that letter, try- 
ing for a scoop." He said this in a friendly 
way, though with a hint of challenge, as 
if prodding me to think through a riddle. 

But I was stuck. "I don't know what to 
tell you," I said. 

"I was prepared for that," he said. Be- 
yond the audioscape of his flat midwestern 
vowels. I envisioned a brief, smug smile. 
"I have a couple of questions for you." 

"Great," I said, relieved and somewhat 
amazed. "Go ahead." 

Longo paused for a moment, and his 
voice shifted into a loss colloquial cadence, 
as if he were reading. He was. as I later 
found out: he'd prepared a test. 13 ques- 
tions in all, complete with answc 

The questions were surprising! . 
he quizzed me on minutiae from my ail 
that I had trouble recalling, and it re< | 
no small effort to persuade him that i 
indeed, the real Michael Finkel. 

Once I did, I asked him the question 
that had been rattling around in my head 
for weeks. "Why." I asked, "did you decide 
to impersonate me. of all people?" 

"Let me just check my schedule," Lon- 
go responded, dryly. "Well, yes, I think I 
might be able to find the time." 

The Lincoln County Jail is a shoebox- 
shaped building, made of cinder block 
and brick, solid-looking on the outside 
save for two rows of slits, like dashed lines, 
that mark the cells' windows. When I arrived 
at the jail's entrance area, an officer direct- 
ed me into an oversize elevator. There were 
no buttons to press. The doors shut; the el- 
evator rose; the doors opened. 

The jail's visiting room consisted of five 
booths. Each had a short metal stool bolt- 
ed to the floor and a black telephone re- 
ceiver hanging on the booth's left-hand side. 
Embedded in the wall was a thick square 
forced glass, through which I could 
prisoners' side, another stool and 
Rvery booth was empty. Lon- 
i status in the jail meant that 
n>. ; could be present while he 

wa.s :l rea. 

I sat waited. I studied the 

fingerp> .low, some of them 

tiny, clearly children's, and I counted 
kiss marks. I dried my palms on my pai 
Graffiti had been scratched into the de 
"Bobby R"; "Tammy"; "I love you 
much Chava"; "Eat Shit"; "Fuck Toa 
The scent in the air brought to mind fn 
paint and sour milk. 

Longo strode into the room, energeti 
ly, as if he were ready to sell me somethi 
He was wearing a sweatshirt, blue pai 
and tan plastic sandals. He carried a la] 
brown envelope. He was on the tall sid 
a shade over six feet, he later said— and 
looking. He sat on the stool across fir 
me, and we peered at each other throu 
the smudged window. 

He had a baby face— that was my fi 
thought— with a scattering of freckles ac 
his cheeks and not so much as the hint 
a beard. His ears angled sharply outwa 
his hair, short and neat, was either reddi 
blond or blondish red. He had hazel eyi 
long eyelashes, pale skin, and an utte 
characterless nose, the kind of nose t 
people who get nose jobs always want 
have. His features had achieved an envi 
harmony— he was casually good-looki 
in a sporty, fraternity-brother sort of w; 
and he managed to appear self-assur 
even in his jail uniform. 

There was nothing about him th 
seemed remotely scary, and he was seal 
off behind a slab of bulletproof glass. B 
despite this I felt a twinge of stomac 
tightening fear. The person facing me w 
considered so dangerous he was not allowel 
near other criminals— not even permittee 
or so it appeared, to share the same air i 
anyone else, as if he were the carrier c 
some lethal disease. 

He smiled at me briefly, just the top teet 
showing, and we each picked up our phon« 
We swapped hellos and how-are-yous, an 
in the midst of our greetings, while mair 
taining eye contact, I flipped open m 
steno pad and scribbled a few notes, 
couldn't help myself. I'd lost my job, nc 
my instincts. Longo's story— one that con 
bined murder, impersonation, and a bizam 
personal connection— was the journalisti 
equivalent of a winning lottery ticket. 

Pursuing such a story was irresistible tc 
me. From the moment the Oregoniar 
reporter called. I'd had the vague sens* 
that Longo's tale could provide me wit! 
a chance to return to journalism. And 
thought that if I were able to be truthfu 
with Longo— an accused murderer and i\ 
possible con man; a person who might easJ 
ily forgive deceit— then I'd demonstrate, ail 
least to myself, that I had moved beyond 
the dishonest behavior that had cost me m\ 
job. On top of all this was a morbid but) 
undeniable curiosity: if Longo was indeed 
guilty. I wanted to know what could possi-] 

13 8 



JUNE 200 

I y drive a man to murder his own family. 
Our conversation had a peculiar mo- 

entum. We'd be discussing the blandest 
subjects— which local restaurants I'd eat- 
at, what hotel I was staying in— when 

)me word or phrase seemed to generate 
Longo an intense emotion, and he'd ap- 
pear on the verge of revealing an intimate 
liought. before regaining his composure, 
turriedly changing the subject, and set- 
ling back into blandness. When I men- 
•oned, for example, that I'd taken a walk 
i ong Newport's bayfront, it was the word 
I bay" that sparked a reaction. 
| "I'll never look at the bay again," Lon- 

o told me. At first I thought he 

as lamenting the fact that he 
I light spend the rest of his life 

eked in prison. But that's not what 
te'd implied. Longo added that he 
las thankful his cell's window 

as frosted over. "That way," he ex- 

When our 30 minutes were nearly over, 
Longo held up the brown envelope he'd 
carried into the visiting room. My name 
was penciled on the front. "I've written 
you a letter," he explained. And then, as 
if all of this— the call, the visit— had been 
some sort of entrance exam, an odd type 
of tryout, he said, "I'm going to decide 
whether to mail this to you or not." 

He decided yes. The letter came in the 
same envelope Longo had shown 
me. It had surprising heft. Inside 
was a stack of yellow paper with faded blue 
lines; every page was covered, top to bot- 

Stretched out in a lounge chair on the 
Canciin beach, Longo wrote in his 
letter, he thought for the first time 
about constructing a plausible alias. Little 
came to mind. Instead, he read the news- 
paper he'd purchased. He scanned the 
classifieds for a possible employment op- 
portunity, as he had less than $200 with 
him. Nothing seemed promising. Then he 
turned to the travel pages. Skimming these 
articles, he wrote, reminded him of his fa- 
vorite Sunday-morning ritual: he would go 
to the local Starbucks with his family and 
order coffee for himself, tea for MaryJane, 
and hot chocolate for the kids, and read 

I thought that if I were able to be truthful with Longo, 
then I'd demonstrate that I had moved beyond the 
- dishonest behavior that had cost me my job. 


A hostel in 
Cancun, Mexico, 
where Longo 
roomed. He was 
arrested in Tulum, 
60 miles 
to the south. 

nlained, "I can't see the water." 

I grasped his meaning. 
i'Those were the waters," I said, 
carefully maintaining a non- 
liccusatory tone, "in which your 
ikmily was found." 

He nodded yes, and I looked 
it Longo. I stared for a couple 
of beats too long. But his eyes revealed 
nothing. He returned the stare and said, "I 
just wanted to do the best I could for my 
family." and his eyes moistened and he 
glanced away, and I thought he might weep. 
But when he looked back, he seemed fine. 
"You know," he said, "I was born in a town 
on the Mississippi River." 

torn, left to right, in immacu- 
late penciled print, the letters 
grammar-school tidy, each 
line a calm string of boxcars. 
There were no signs of era- 
sure, almost no scratch-outs- 
it was as though his thoughts 
had flowed from head to 
hand in a boulderless stream. 
And a hell of a stream it was: 
he had written 78 pages, all 
with a golf pencil, the only 
writing instrument he was 
permitted to use. His para- 
graphs were swollen with 
memories and details and 
tidbits of conversation. It 
was the longest letter I had 
ever received. 

"Dear Mike," he began, 
and then, after a brief pre- 
amble, he opened into a 
rant: "I sometimes feel like a caged 
animal. I know that I can speak, 
I do have a voice, but the guards 
look at me as though I'm speaking 
with the language of an ape; the 
words hit their faces & fall to the 
floor, w/out expression. They're so 
officious; any vestige of free will 
is lost." 
The heart of the letter was the story of 
his time on the lam, in Mexico, during the 
weeks after his family was murdered. He ti- 
tled this section the "Michael Finkel Affair." 
It included a description of an airplane ride 
on the morning of December 27, 2001, as 
Longo was preparing to touch down at the 
Mexican beach resort of Cancun. 

The New York Times. His favorite parts were 
the travel section and the magazine. 

And there, on the beach, an idea came 
to mind: "A perfect facade," as he put it. 
For years, it had been a fantasy of his to 
become a professional adventurer. Now, it 
occurred to him, was the ideal opportunity. 
"I could live out a dream," he wrote. And 
why not adopt the guise of a writer he'd 
often admired— the one with the rhyming 
name, the one whose trips often stoked his 
envy? Longo's middle name is Michael. 
Was it really such a big leap to become Mi- 
chael Finkel? No, he thought, it wasn't. 

During his second week in Mexico, 
Longo met a woman named Janina Franke. 
When she checked into the hostel where 
he was staying, Longo couldn't help but 
notice her: she had bright-red hair, a ring 
piercing her right eyebrow, and (Longo 
observed when she returned his smile) a 
shiny silver stud in the center of her tongue. 
All this, noted Longo, ornamented a "very 
attractive" body. 

But none of that interested him, he 
wrote. What he liked about Franke, who'd 
arrived from Germany, was that she'd come 
to Cancun to explore the nearby Mayan 
ruins. And— here's what really caught Lon- 
go's attention— her plan was to photograph 
these ruins, in hopes of advancing her fledg- 
ling career as a photographer. 

This was too big an opening for Longo 
to resist. He informed Franke that he hap- 
pened to be a professional writer, one 
whose pieces frequently appeared in The 
New York Times. He mentioned that he, 
too, had developed an interest in Mayan 
culture. Franke said she planned to travel 

U N E 2 5 V A N I T Y FAIR 139 

oore ruins. 
: -hat her dream was to become a 
traveling photojournalist. Longo said he 
might be able to help her out. The next 
morning the two of them were on the bus 
together, heading toward Tulum. 

For a while, during the ride down, 
Longo was giddy. "I thought that per- 
haps this is how a life of adventure would 
be," he wrote. "A journalist on a quest for 
that untold story." He was impressed by 
Franke's cameras, two Hasselblads and a 
Canon, and figured that she really was a 
photographer. He told Franke that he'd 
once been married but was now divorced; 
he said he'd never had any children. He 
spoke with Franke about a possible col- 
laboration. She would take the photos, and 
he'd come up with the ideal story, some- 
thing that the publications he wrote for 
would absolutely love, perhaps a piece that 
combined Mayan history and adventure 

At worst, he promised Franke, they'd 
sell the piece to The New York Times. This 
was only if, by some fluke, National 
Geographic didn't leap at the opportuni- 
ty to print it. Franke was elated by her 
good fortune. She even sent an e-mail 
to her mother about her big break. 

as to have an unviolated scene," Lon- 
go wrote, "that would allow for a more 
clear expression of art"). They saw mon- 
keys and iguanas and, one time, an alliga- 
tor. They climbed the Mayan pyramids. 
Franke snapped photos. Longo took notes. 
"We worked as a well-oiled photojournal- 
ist team," Longo wrote. 

He seemed to enjoy the role. It made 
him feel important. "I wasn't just another 
person, paying the entrance fee," he wrote. 
He filled dozens of pages in his pocket- 
size notebook with what he termed "liter- 
ary snapshots." In group settings, he was 
often completely at ease speaking with 
people about his career at the Times. "It 
seemed natural," he wrote. 

There were periods, though, when he 
found it difficult to be Michael Finkel— 
when "reality came crashing down," as he 
put it. The worst moment occurred while 
sitting on the beach with Franke, staring 
out at the water, waiting for sunset so the 
light would be better for her to take pho- 
tos. "Flashbacks of a horrific scene re- 
played on the film of my mind," he wrote, 
though he didn't divulge anything more 
specific. He ran from Franke and began 
to weep. He felt an overwhelming sense of 
guilt; he kept repeating the phrase "I'm 
sorry" out loud, over and over. His emo- 

The divers retrieved two large, dark-green suitcases. 
One appeared to have a bit of human hair emerging from 
the zipper. Inside, bent into a fetal position, was the body 
of MaryJane Longo. 

tions, he wrote, seemed to shift with 
incoming wave: "I cried, I was angry, I 
resentful, I was hurt, I was lonely b^ 
wanted to be alone." 

On the evening of January 13, 20| 
after a day of snorkeling, Longo joine| 
small party at a beachfront cabana wh 
some young Britons were staying. Cand 
were lit; beers were drunk. A joint 
passed around. After a while, someone I 
ticed a bright light outside, shining throi 
the slits in the cabana's bamboo wal 
moving back and forth. It seemed odd. 

A moment later, the cabana's door \j 
kicked open and a half-dozen men, 
drawn, rushed inside. They told everycl 
to get down on the floor, Longo wrote| 
his letter, and put their hands behind tl 
heads. A flashlight swept from face| 
face, then stopped on Longo's. Two 
grasped Longo, one on each arm, and 
corted him from the cabana. 

At first, Longo wrote, he thought it wa 
drug raid. Then he was brought to the pJ 
son who'd apparendy directed the operatic 
a stocky, athletic -looking man with a thi 
mane of black hair. He was unarmed. I 
held a photograph in his hands and glanc 
from the photo to Longo several times. 

"Are you Christian Michael Longo?" 

"Yes," said Longo, not both* 
ing to attempt a he. 

"I'm Dan Clegg," the man sai 
"Special agent with the F.B.I. 



Longo was not delusional. He nev- 
er actually believed he wrote for the 
Times. In moments of excitement, 
though, he did appear to think he 
could fool not only tourists in Can- 
ciin but also magazine editors in 
the United States. Perhaps, by using 
Franke's photos and the byline Mi- 
chael Finkel, he could publish a 
real article. He would mail all the 
materials from Mexico, and with a 
bit of luck, he'd receive a 
paycheck. This would ease 
his financial concerns. 

For several days, Longo 
and Franke worked on 
their magazine arti. 
They hiked jungle paths, ex- 
plored underwater caves, and 
even woke before dawn to 
beat the tourists to the ruins 


Above, officials at the 
scene where MaryJane's 

and Madison's bodies 

were recovered on 

December 27, 2001; 

left, flowers from mourners 
on the dock nearby. 

hat was Longo's first lettc 
When I finished reading, 
sensed it was my turn. So 
filled him in on the details 
my life: ski trips, hockey game 
ideas that came 
mind as I joggec 
I shared the coi 
tents of some of l 
dreams. I describe 
the body-heavy weai 
iness that overcam 
me when I dwelle 
on my firing. 

In his next lettei 
Longo wrote that b 
was innocent of tfr 
crimes. There was a rea 
sonable explanation 
he insisted, for wlr 
he'd fled to Mexico 
after the murders in 
stead of calling the po 
lice. It would only be i 
matter of time, he not 
ed, before his innocence was obvious. If 1 
only knew about the pressure he'd beer 
under, and the sacrifices he'd made tc 
provide for his family, then I would realize 
that harming them was something he 

JUNE 2005 







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hepatocytes in vitro, and the micronudeus test in mice. 
Impairment of fertility: In a rat reproduction study, the high dose 1100 mg 
base/kg) of Zolpidem resulted in irregular estrus cycles and prolonged precoital 
intervals, but there was no effect on male or female fertility after daily oral doses 
of 4 to 100 mg basekg or 5 to 130 times the recommended human dose in 
mg/rrr. No effects on any other fertility parameters were noted. 

Teratogenic effects: Category B. Studies to assess the effects of Zolpidem on 
human reproduction and development have not been conducted. 

Teratology studies were conducted in rats and rabbits. 

In rats, adverse maternal and fetal effects occurred at 20 and 100 mg base/kg 
and included dose-related maternal lethargy and ataxia and a dose-related trend 
to incomplete ossification of fetal skull bones. 

In rabbits, dose-related maternal sedation and decreased weight gain 
occurred at all doses tested. At the high dose. 16 mg base Vg. there was an 
increase in postimplantation fetal loss and underossiheation of sternebrae in 
viable fetuses. 

This drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. 
Nonteratogenk effects: Studies to assess the effects on children whose mothers 
took Zolpidem during pregnancy have not been conducted. However, children 
bom of mothers taking sedative/hypnotic drugs may be at some risk for with- 
drawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. In addition, neona- 
tal flaccidity has been reported in infants bom of mothers who received sedative 
hypnotic drugs during pregnancy. 

Labor and delivery: Ambien has no established use in labor and delivery. 
Nursing mothers: Studies in lactating mothers indicate that between 0.004 and 
0.019% of the total administered dose is excreted into milk, but the effect of Zolpi- 
dem on the infant is unknown. 

The use of Ambien in nursing mothers is not recommended. 
Pediatric use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 18 
have not been established. 

Geriatric use: A total of 154 patients in U.S. controlled clinical trials and 897 
patients in non-U. S. clinical trials who received Zolpidem were >60 years of age. 
For a pool of U.S. patients receiving Zolpidem at doses of <10 mg or placebo, 
there were three adverse events occurring at an incidence of at least 3% for Zolpi- 
dem and for which the Zolpidem incidence was at least twice the placebo inci- 
dence lie, they could be considered drug related). 

Adverse Event 





: : 


5 : : 





A total of 30 1559 (1.5%) non-US. patients receiving Zolpidem reported falls, 
including 28.30 !93%l who were >70 years of age. Of these 28 patients. 23 (82%l 
were receiving Zolpidem doses >10 mg. A total of 24/1.959 d.2%1 non-U.S. 
patients receiving Zolpidem reported confusion, including 18/24 175%) who were 
>70 years of age. Of these 18 patients, 14 (78%) were receiving Zolpidem doses 

Associated with discontinuation of treatment Approximately 4% of 1.701 
patients who received Zolpidem at all doses (1.25 to 90 mg) in U.S. premarketing 
clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse clinical event Events 
most commonly associated with discontinuation from U.S. trials were daytime 
drowsiness (0.5%). dizziness (0.4%), headache 10.5%). nausea 10.6%). and vomit- 
ing '0 5 : .- 

Approximately 4% of 1,959 patients who received Zolpidem at all doses II to 
50 mg) in similar foreign trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse 
event Events most commonly associated with discontinuation from these trials 
were daytime drowsiness (1.1%), dizziness/vertigo (0.8%), amnesia 10.5%). nau- 
sea 10.5%). headache (0.4%). and falls 10.4%). 

Data from a clinical study in which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor- 
ISSRII treated patients were given Zolpidem revealed that four of the seven dis- 
continuations during double-blind treatment with Zolpidem (n=95) were associ- 
ated with impaired concentration, continuing or aggravated depression, and 
manic reaction; one patient treated with placebo m=97) was discontinued after 
an attempted suicide. 
Incidence in controied clinical trials 

Most commonly observed adverse events m controlled trials: Dunng short-term 
treatment (up to 10 nights) with Ambien at doses up to 10 mg. the most com- 
monly observed adverse events associated with the use of Zolpidem and seen at 
statistically significant differences from placebo-treated patients were drowsi- 
ness (reported by 2% of Zolpidem patients), dizziness 11%). and diarrhea 11%). 
: -term treatment 128 to 35 nights! with Zolpidem at doses up to 10 
-monly observed adverse events associated with the use of 
Zolpidem a~" : en at statistically significant differences from placebo-treated 
■ 5'sl and drugged feelings (3%). 
idverse experiences in placebo-contr o ted clinical trials. 
it emergent adverse events from U.S. placebo-con- 
B limited to data from doses up to and including 10 
^:s seen in Zolpidem patients in=685l at an incidence 
-- -3 placebo (n=473l were: headache (7% vs 6% 
is 0%). dizziness (1% vs 0%). nausea (7% vs 3%), 
" i vs 2%). In long-term clinical trials, events 
seen in Zolpidem pa m Incidence of 1% or greater compared to 

placebo ln=161) were; " : for placebo), allergy (4% vs 1%). 

back pain (3% vs 2%). influenza-like symptoms 12% vs 0%) , < 
0%). fatigue (1% vs 2%l, palpitation 12% vs 0%). headache 119% v 
ness 18% vs 5%). dizziness 15% vs 1%), lethargy (3% vs 1%), i 
vs 0%). lightheadedness 12% vs 1%), depression (2% vs 1%), 
11% vs 0%), amnesia (1% vs 0%), anxiety (1% vs 1%). r 
sleep disorder (1% vs OKI. nausea (6% vs 6%), dyspepsia 15% » 
(3% vs 2%l, abdominal pain (2% vs 2%). constipation 12% vs- V 
vs 1%). vomiting (1% vs 1%>. infection 11% vs 1%), myalgia (7% , 
gia (4% vs 4%). upper respiratory infection (5% vs 6%), sin 
pharyngitis (3% vs 1%). rhinitis (1% vs 3%). rash (2% vs 1%). 
infection (2% vs 2%). 

Dose relationship for adverse events: There is evidence from t 
trials suggesting a dose relationship for many of the adverse e 
with Zolpidem use. particularly for certain CNS and ( 

Adverse events are further classified and enumerated in order I 
frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse events | 
those occurring in greater than 1100 subjects; infrequent < 
those occurring in 1/100 to 1 1.000 patients; rare events are tho 
less than 1, 1,000 patients. 
Frequent abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, allergy, amnesia, al 
ety, arthralgia, asthenia, ataxia, back pain, chest pain, confusion | 
depression, diarrhea, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, dn 
mouth, dyspepsia, euphoria, fatigue, headache, hiccup, infection I 
symptoms, insomnia, lethargy, lightheadedness, myalgia, nausea, 
palpitation, sleep disorder, vertigo, vision abnormal, vomiting. 
Infrequent abnormal hepatic function, agitation, arthritis, 
brovascular disorder, coughing, cystitis, decreased cognition. 
ty concentrating, dysarthria, dysphagia, dyspnea, edema, emoti 
irritation, eye pain, fading, fever, flatulence, gastroenteritis, hallu 
glycemia. hypertension, hypoesthesia, illusion, increased SG 
sweating, leg cramps, malaise, menstrual disorder, migraine, pallo 
postural hypotension, pruritus, sclentis, sleeping (after daytime c 
disorder, stupor, syncope, tachycardia, taste perversion, thirst tin 
tremor, urinary incontinence, vaginitis. 

Rare: abdominal body sensation, abnormal accommodation, i 
abnormal thinking, abscess, acne, acute renal failure, aggressive r 
gic reaction, allergy aggravated, altered saliva, anaphylactic shock, i 
na pectoris, apathy, appetite increased, arrhythmia, arteritis, i 
binemia. breast firxoadenosis, breast neoplasm, breast pain, 
bullous eruption, circulatory failure, conjunctivitis, corneal ■ 
libido, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, dermatitis, 
enteritis, epistaxis. eructation, esophagospasm. extrasystoles. face] 
ing strange, flushing, furunculosis. gastritis, glaucoma, gout I 
pes simplex, herpes zoster, hot flashes, hypercholesteremia. I 
binemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension aggravated, hypokinesia, 
hypotonia, hypoxia, hysteria, impotence, increased alkaline 
increased BUN, increased ESR, increased saliva, increased SCOT, i 
inflammation, intestinal obstruction, intoxicated feeling, laenrr 
laryngitis, leukopenia, rymphadenopathy. macrocytic anemia, 
micturition frequency, muscle weakness, myocardial infarction. 
tis, neuropathy, neurosis, nocturia, otitis externa, otitis media. | 
attacks, paresis, parosmia, periorbital edema, personality dis 
photopsia. photosensitivity reaction, pneumonia, polyuria, puln 
pulmonary embolism, purpura, pyelonephritis, rectal I 
restless legs, rigors, sciatica, somnambulism, suicide attempts. I 
mus, tetany, thrombosis, tolerance increased, tooth caries, 
urticaria, varicose veins, ventricular tachycardia, weight decre 

Controlled substance: Schedule IV. 
Abuse and dependence: Studies of abuse potential in former drug abi 
that the effects of single doses of Zolpidem tartrate 40 mg were sim| 
identical, to diazepam 20 mg. while Zolpidem tartrate 10 mg was 
tinguish from placebo. 

Sedative hypnotics have produced withdrawal signs and symp 
abrupt discontinuation. These reported symptoms range from i 
and insomnia to a withdrawal syndrome that may include abdominal 
de cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and convulsions. The U.S. ™ 
experience from Zolpidem does not reveal any clear evidence for I 
syndrome. Nevertheless, the following adverse events included in D 1 
teria for uncomplicated sedative hypnotic withdrawal were reporte: J 
dence of <1% during U.S. clinical trials following placebo substituticl 
within 48 hours following last Zolpidem treatment fatigue, nausea 
lightheadedness, uncontrolled crying, emesis, stomach cramps, pi 
nervousness, and abdominal discomfort Rare post-marketing reponj 
dependence and withdrawal have been received. 

Individuals with a history of addiction to. or abuse of. drugs or al. I 
increased risk of habituation and dependence; they should be under .1 
veillance when receiving any hypnotic 

Signs and symptoms: In European postmarketing reports of overdose 
dem alone, impairment of consciousness has ranged from somnolen] 
coma, with one case each of cardiovascular and respiratory cm 
Individuals have fully recovered from Zolpidem tartrate overdoses up I 
140 times the maximum recommended dose). Overdose cases mvolv 
CNS-depressant agents, including Zolpidem, have resulted in rrxj 
symptomatology, including fatal outcomes. 
Recommended treatment General symptomatic and supportive 
should be used along with immediate gastric lavage where ad 
Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. Flumazenil may 
Respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and other appropriate signs shout 
itored and general supportive measures employed. Sedating drugs 
withheld following Zolpidem overdosage. Zolpidem is not dialyzable. 

The possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. 


Distributed by. 
Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. 
New York, NY 10016 


Revised Augi 


could not even conceivably do." He said 
e needed to tell me "the whole, true sto- 
v" oi' his life. 

He then proceeded to write to me about 

ow he met Mary Jane— she was seven years 

lder than he, and as they began to date, 

.hen Longo was 18 and MaryJane 25, 

,ongo's parents strenuously objected. Lon- 

o responded by moving out of his house 

d soon proposing marriage (at a res- 

' lurant. where the ring was hidden in a 

liread basket). MaryJane accepted. He 

(iromised that he would treat her like a 

lueen. At their wedding, in Ann Arbor, 

Michigan, the song Longo dedicated to his 

lew bride was Bryan Adams's "(Every- 

hing I Do) I Do It for You." 

Longo wrote dozens of pages to me 
ibout the birth of his children. He explained 
iow he started his own business, Final 
Touch Construction Cleaning, a company 
hat prepared homes after construction by 
shampooing carpets, washing windows, 
•ind generally making them presentable for 
idle. He wrote that the business began to 

worn, and said that he had dreams of re- 

r ' 

firing as a millionaire by age 30. 

My letters, again following Longo's 
ead, grew longer and more personal. For 
nonths, almost all of the writing I did 
was for Longo. After my firing, the Times 
lad made a thorough investigation into 
:very story I'd written for the magazine. 
Reporters were mobilized in Haiti and Is- 
rael and Afghanistan to re-interview people 
vvho'd appeared in my articles. Though 
:here was nothing to report but a single 
spelling mistake and a numerical error, it 
didn't much boost my spirits. I was still 
ashamed of myself. 

A few magazines were once again will- 
ing to publish my work, but I had no 
desire to take any assignments. Instead, 
I lived off my savings and devoted myself 
full-time to the Longo project. Sometimes, 
I'd spend an entire day doing little else 
but writing to him. I virtually stopped 
making entries in the journal that I had 
kept for 15 years; my letters to Longo, each 
of which I photocopied, essentially be- 
came my journal. 

My writings to Longo seemed to have 
a life of their own, one resistant to self- 
editing. He was the only person in my life 
I felt morally superior to, and something 
about this situation produced in me an 
unexpected openness. When it came to 
my Times debacle, I was too humiliated to 
talk intimately about the subject with my 
friends, my family, or my girlfriend. With 
Longo, though, I could write about it 
freely and candidly. Compared with the 
crimes he was accused of, my transgres- 
sions seemed so petty that I could explore 
the roots of my behavior without hesita- 
tion or embarrassment. 

When writing to Longo about my strug- 
gles with egotism and honesty I didn't 
hold much of anything back. If it was on 
my mind, I usually put it in a letter. 

In the year between our first phone con- 
versation and the start of his trial, Lon- 
go sent me 23 letters, and I sent him 
23 letters. We exchanged nearly a thou- 
sand pages of material. We spoke on the 
phone for more than 50 hours. Longo ex- 
plained, with extraordinary meticulousness, 
how his business began to sink— and how 
he continued to tell MaryJane that it was 
a big success. 

Then, as his finances fell into a tail- 
spin, Longo resorted to crime. First, 
when the family car broke down, he stole 

pendently confirmed, I double-checked, 
and almost all of it turned out to be 
accurate— but this still left a tremendous 
amount of information that couldn't be 

Longo had insisted that he was a lov- 
ing father and husband, but the only peo- 
ple who could prove this contention were 
dead. Was Longo a decent guy who'd 
done a horrible thing or a horrible guy 
who was faking his decency? Was he 
telling the truth about his family life, or 
merely manipulating the facts to suit his 

I don't think Longo ever intended to 
tell me the whole, true story. From the 
start, his answers to the most vital ques- 
tions were precisely calibrated: not exact- 

I agreed with the jury's decision, but was 
Longo a decent guy who'd done a horrible thing or 
a horrible guy who was faking his decency? 

a new minivan. Then he began cashing 
counterfeit checks. He was being hound- 
ed, daily, by collection agencies. Sum- 
monses were stuck to his door. Foreclo- 
sure proceedings were about to be initiat- 
ed on his house. So he kept cashing fake 
checks. Finally, he wrote about how he 
had to flee from the law, with his family 
in tow. 

Longo never followed through on his 
promise to prove his innocence— he nev- 
er wrote to me about the murders at all — 
and it wasn't until the start of his trial, in 
March of 2003, that the crimes themselves 
became the focus of attention. Longo took 
the witness stand for four days, during 
which time he claimed that MaryJane had 
murdered the two older children, and said 
that he, in a blind rage, had strangled Mary- 
Jane and the baby— an account that no ju- 
ror believed. 

Longo was pronounced guilty of all 
four murders and sentenced to death. He 
now resides on death row in the Oregon 
State Penitentiary, but he likely has a lot 
of life ahead of him. In the course of the 
appeals process, he will have seven oppor- 
tunities to overturn his conviction. 

Nearly every aspect of my relation- 
ship with Longo was confounding, 
and in the end I agreed with the 
jury's decision: Longo had murdered his 
family. But I could never figure out just 
how much he'd lied to me. Everything 
he wrote in his letters that could be inde- 

ly false, but yet not wholly true. Dur- 
ing our initial visit at the Lincoln County 
Jail, as our time was drawing to a close— 
this was just before he displayed the 
first letter to me— I gathered my nerve 
and looked him squarely in the eyes. I 
spoke clearly and assertively. "Chris," I 
said, "did you do what you are accused 
of doing?" 

His face remained composed. It was 
as though he'd been waiting for me to ask 
this. He was silent for a moment, and I 
felt he was selecting his words carefully. 
"I can't answer that right now," he said. 
"But I think you know." And then he 
winked at me, winked his left eye, slowly 
and obviously, as if to say, Hey, this visit 
might be monitored, so I can't say any- 
thing directly, but there's your answer. 

It was an odd and unsettling action, that 
wink. I wasn't quite sure what it meant, 
but it felt complicitous— by winking at me, 
I thought, Longo was maneuvering me 
into a position where we were, on some 
level, confidants. That it was me and him 
against the world. This struck me in a 
powerfully frightening way. For as much 
as I'd like to deny it, the truth is that I did 
see a tiny piece of myself in Longo: I saw 
the flawed parts, mirrored and hugely mag- 
nified. I saw how a person's life could spi- 
ral out of control; I saw how one could get 
lost in a haze of dishonesty. And I was 
struck, too, with the realization that the 
afterimage of that wink might remain with 
me forever. □ 

I U N E 2 5 | VANITY FAIR 143 






ireet aiK 1 a with big hopes and dreams. It rewards the unique, the one-of-a-kinl 








W. C. Fields famously advised against working 
with animals or children, but two negatives 
turned out to be a positive when Highmore 
caught his big break as a boy who befriended 
a tiger in Jean-Jacques Annaud's Two Brothers 
(2004) I WANT CANDY: Highmore, who 
played opposite Johnny Depp in Finding 
Never/and, will next share the screen with 
Depp's creepified Willy Wonka in Tim 
Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 
which comes out next month. JOHNNY 
GETS HIGHMORE: Depp was so impressed 
with his co-star's effortless talent in Finding 
Never/and that he urged the producers to 
cast Highmore as Charlie. — krista Smith 


IE 2 5 













Henry Kissinger 

Recently deposed 


Lockjawed Alex Brown partner Ph.D. in Urdu and 
with a three handicap silver-medal gymnast J 


The Encampment 

"Weaving spiders come 
not here." 

•^The Tomb 

'Novus ordo seclorum." 
(A new order of the ages. 

John Kerry ► 

Geronimo's skull 

Skeleton costume 
and Top-Siders 


Lucky Luciano 

Karl Maldl 

Door guy at Denver- Nonagenarian 

airport-adjacent RKO chief resid 

gentlemen's club Beverly Hills! 

Slots lounge at the Trump 70s-era building < 

■4 To j Mahal, Atlantic City j Kate Mantilini, on 







"Bechtel's lakeside chats 
always put me in the mood." 

Fir-tree eyebrows 

Urine puddles on walkway 

Skit night ► 

Whittling redwood 



Gin fin 


"You have to promise 
not to tell anybody." 

Madman's tight jaw 

Tomb is too 

Group recital 
of sex histories 

Naked mud-wrestling 

Blood from the Yorick 

Breakina in the master race 

"It's not personal." 

John Gotti 

Atlantic City 

Nylon tracksuit 

■^ Giuliani 

A brain topped by a crown 
and a green C fcr Sir 
Mansfield dimming 

"Our time 
is short.' 

M Port-wine stain on 
right cheek 

The class of people we're 
forced to fight these days . . . 

Legoland 90s HQ 
Martini ► 

Keeping the world safe for 
gentlemen of distinction 

Head of John 
the Baptist 

"Who you 

Gouged-out eye 

RICO statute 

Mother fixations 

Bumper pool 

*£ Seven and Seven 

"Let's ordtl 
from Chas 

< Billy Crl 

M.PjU. cop 

Electric-blue Fred I 

blazer, red Fred I 


Hollywood Foreigl 


"Remind me o 
name again, 

Lew WassermaJ 
Rodenstock Senat I 

Empty seats cl 


Shopping propo 
volume of i 

Families have 
after their own 

to look t 

-^"I'll have sel 

Annual obituar 

146 VANITY FAIR www.vannyhsir.eon 






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Valerie Cherish 
was TV's IT Girl. 

Now IT's a Different Story. 







Or watch them whenever you want on HBO On Demand 












i . . - . ? 


^ E 7oMPtETEFm 

Entourage : The Complete First Season. Now available 
on DVD. Eight great episodes plus audio commentaries 
and behind the scenes interviews. Own it today. 

Subscribe onti 

62005 Home Box Office, he. All rights reserved HBO HBO On Demand-. 

AOL Keyword: HBO 

" and Sex And The Dty are service marks of Home Box Office Inc 



m eing the head of one of Madison Avenue's hottest ad 
I ^t agencies didn't satisfy Donny Deutsch, so the chair- 

l ^^B man and C.E.O. of Deutsch. Inc.. went out and land- 
^^ ed himself a talk show on CNBC: The Big Idea with 
Donny Deutsch. Our correspondent checks in with Deutsch to 
debate the merits of bodybuilding, Jon Bon Jovi, and attempt- 
ing to beat Larry King at his own game. 

George Wayne: So what's your Plan B for Brad and Jen? 
Donny Deutsch: I think Brad and Jen will be just fine. My fasci 
nation is only because it's like the best-looking boy 
and the cutest girl in the class broke up. You 
know, it's that high-school-gossip thing. 
G.W. Where do you get off thinking that 
you an' the post-millennial Charlie Rose? 
D.D. I think that there is a wonder 
fill opportunity on television. With 
all of the 5,000 channels, there 
are really only two long-format 
interview shows— Charlie Rose 
and Larry King. And they've been 
on for a long time; they are both 
wonderful, but I think there is a 
chance to do something with a lit- 
tle bit more of a contemporary flair, a lit- 
tle edgier, and that's what we are trying to 
do. And it's already working. There is a lot of 
really good buzz about it. 
G.W. Your critics say you must decide. Does 
he want to create advertising? Or does he want 
to be in showbiz? 

D.D. I actually think the two are related. If you 
look at the history of Larry King, he was a D.J. 
My background is the perfect training ground 
for a talk show about pop culture. Talking to in- 
teresting people, newsmakers— that helps with 
maintaining my edge as a top guy in the ad- 
vertising business. I think it keeps me fresh. 
G.W. Gosh, you are so buffed! You look like 
one of those Chelsea queens. Are you a Chel- 
sea queen? 

D.D. No, funny that you should say that, as 
I am very straight. But we do have a large 
gay population at this agency. We call 
them the gods— "the gays of Deutsch." 
Any guy who is in good shape, or has any 
sense of style, is automatically assumed 
to be gay, but I am exceptionally straight. 
But I take it as a great compliment. 
G.W. Dude, where does one get tits like 

D.D. I try and work out four days a 
week with a trainer. I also try to run 
four days a week. People aren't used 
to seeing very successful business- 
people who are also in shape. I 
happen to think it's a lot of fun. 

E 2 5 

Donny Deutsch on selling himself 

G.W. Well, you yourself have declared that you have "the best body 
of any C.E.O. in advertising' 

D.D. I was just being a goofball. 

G.W. You've got the body and the booty, after all, 
and you cashed out big-time when you sold your 
agency for trillions. 

D.D. The great thing about having a lot of mon- 
ey is that you don't worry about money. 
G.W. Don't you think that being a celebrity adver- 
tising spokesperson in America is harmful to one's 
acting career.' 

D.D. The historical thinking was that, if 
you were an A-lister, doing a TV ad 
denigrated your superstar status. 
So the celebrities usually went 
to Japan to make a quick 
$5 million for a day, and 
didn't worry about tar- 
nishing the image. That's 
changing. Catherine 
Zeta- Jones may be one 
of the reasons. 
G.W. What kind of guy 
were you in college? 
D.D. I had big hair, I wore 
G.W. You wore clogs?! You are gay! 
D.D. I'm not gay! In 1979 those were 
very much in style. 

G.W. Who has been one of the most mem- 
orable guests on the show? 
D.D. I love Jon Bon Jovi. 
G.W. What's this infatuation with Bon Jovi?! 
D.D. I'm just so impressed with him. 
G.W. Oh, please. He was one of my worst inter- 
views; actually, it was a great interview. He was 
obviously having a bad hair day. 
D.D. I'm really having fun. I think my show is 
destined to become a must-stop for the future. 
G.W. Mitsubishi was a blue-chip client who bailed 
on Deutsch advertising. The timing caused a stir, and 
it was unquestionably a result of Donny Deutsch— not 
the chairman-chief executive of Deutsch advertising 
but the Donny Deutsch dressed in black, buffed and 
powder-puffed, with his self-promoting TV show. 
D.D. Why is it a self-promoting TV show? You 
don't say that about Larry King. I have my own talk 
show. So what? As far as those agency accounts go, 
that was mere coincidence. A bizarre coincidence. We 
still have major clients: Johnson & Johnson, Coors, 
Novartis, Old Navy. 

G.W. So what do you say to the critics of your double 
life? The Madison Avenue naysayers who dismiss you 
as a part-time celebrity? 

D.D. They're just jealous, so what? The day they stop 
being jealous, I've got problems. 
G.W. Thank you, Mr. Deutsch. [VANITY FAIR 151 


c0 pf eonoi 

April 14, 2005 

GW ion - .. Saul My Saul." Ed ^^jdofly ^ 

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The Coaster 

More of the very expensive 

words of Edwin John Coaster. 

contributing editor 



I L i u r 








Long Wheelbase Super V8 shown in Slate, a special-older cotoi. See dealer foi complete details of visit CU2005 Jaguar Cais 






as the temptress who eame between Brad 
on, Angelina. J olie sounds more like a stressed-out single parent 
creeii siren. When she's not promoting Mr. and Mrs. Smith, her new 
jmantie comedy co-starring Pitt, she's volunteering for the U.N. and lobbying 

Congress, but her true passion is her three-year-old son, Maddox. 
le 29-year-old actress talks to NANCY JO SALES about trying to find romam 

(or even just sex) with a kid in the picture 





S( 4 \ aTintw 



Angelina Jolie— and a few 
her 12 tattoos— photographed 
at the kit/ in Paris on 
Februan 27. 2005. 


ou know. 

you're sleeping with your kid all the time 
and you're like. God, I haven't had sex in 
months, let alone tempted anyone," says 
Angelina Jolie. She's sitting cross-legged 
beside me on an overstuffed couch at a 
hotel bar in Beverly Hills, on a misty March 
day, drinking champagne. She's slender in 
jeans and a silky tunic with a pattern of 
naked women on it, which she says she 

tion like I have," she says. "I was always 
not wanting to take them to meet my kid. 
A few months into it with one he started 
to ask about can he spend time with Mad 
or get to know Mad"— Maddox, that is. 

"A guy you were dating?" 

"A guy who was a lover," she says. "And 
I had to become very clear, like, 'This stays 
where it stays. One. you don't have to talk 
about my son. because that's not who you 
are. And that's O.K.. I appreciate it, but 
please don't assume that that's O.K.' 

"When I was married to Billy"— the 
actor Billy Bob Thornton, her second hus- 
band— "I met a man I never slept with." 
she says. "We had dinner once, and it end- 
ed up being, "Look. I'm married. I can't 
sleep with you. I can't even finish dinner, 
'cause it's uncomfortable.' Three years lat- 
er I called him and asked if he wanted to 
be lovers, and it was one of these phone 
calls of just, you know, a single mom sleep- 
ing with a baby and just, I'll call a man up 
and ask if he wants to be my lover. 

"And we spent a few dinners kind of 
discussing the details of how this was go- 
ing to happen. It was actually fascinating," 

"Thank you very much. I feel bet 
it already," she says. 

We eat chocolate-covered strav 
and get to talking about whether 

"Men don't really like skinny, dc 
Angie asks. "Ever since I dated a w 
know what it is to grab a curve on 
an's body. Skinny 's not fine when tr 
are low." Her wrists are as delict 
swan's neck. 

She has appeared in more than 3 
including Gia (1998). Girl, Inter 
( 1999). Pushing Tin (1999), and Alt I 
(2004). She's considered one of t 
actresses in Hollywood and makes b 
S12 and S15 million per picture. 

"Her power is volcanic, it's hi 
electric," says James Mangold, dire 
Girl, Interrupted, for which she 
Academy Award for best support; 
tress in 2000. 

"Natural-born actress." says Oliver 
director of Alexander. "Bred in her 
I suppose. Her father, her mother. 

Her father is the actor Jon Voigl 
was born Angelina Jolie Voight), 


What about the rumor that Aniston overheard her i 

bought at a London sex shop, Coco de 
Mer. "It makes your ass look nice," she 
says. A soft black shawl keeps slipping 
from her bare left shoulder, where there's a 
tattoo of a dragon and a smudge of make- 
up covering up the shadow of the lasered- 
away name "Billy Bob." 

"When you said you sleep with men in 
hotel rooms, I was like, Oh, yeah, I do that." 
I say. 

"Exactly, thank you," says Angelina, 29, 
who says she prefers to be called Angie. 

"Because what else are you going to do?" 

"Yeah, if you're a single mom." she says. 

She adopted a son. Maddox, now three, 
from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002. 
I was a single mom until December. We 
have much to talk about— her new movie 
Mr. and Mrs. Smith; and what does she 
know about the breakup of Hollywood's 
"Golden Couple"?; and is there a shared 
Nobel Peace Prize with Bono in her future 
(since 2001 she's been a goodwill ambas- 
sador for the United Nations High Com- 
missioner for Refugees) — but we seem to 
be having a lot more fun talking about sex 
and single motherhood. 

"It sounds like you're lucky." I say. "You 
have a regular setup " She has said she has 
two different "lovj 

"It takes a long time to create a situa- 

she says. "It was interesting between a man 
and a woman to say, This is what we're both 
worried about and this is how we won't 
hurt anyone's feelings. 

"I think even with that man it took about 
two months," she says, "until he looked at 
me and said, 'Oh, you're really serious, you're 
O.K. with this, you're really fine to just have 
a lover.' I think women are much easier 
about having a lover than a man is. even." 

"I think men like to think that—" 

"They're more sexual." she says. "And 
we're very much the opposite . . . and we 
love, we love to love, but we can also draw 
the line." 

She and the lovers "have become great 
friends." she says. "We watch the news, talk 
about life." 

We talk about how relationships like 
these are "so healthy. And so honest. The 
most honest relationships I ever had. To be 
able to say. 'Can you pass me the mini-bar 
key? I'm about to murder all of the choco- 
late in here. Can you move over? " 

She gasps, looking up. Charlie, our beefy 
bar waiter, has come over with a large sil- 
ver tray of chocolates. 

"You always do this and I love you for 
it!" says Angie. 

"It's so healthy," says Charlie, trembling. 
"This is healthy Swiss chocolate, ha-ha." 

1969's Midnight Cowboy and Ac 
Award winner for 1978 's Coming Hon 
mother is the actress Marcheline Bei 
who is part French and part Iroquoi 
parents separated when she was on 
has a brother, James Haven, 32, also 
tor, about whom she said. "I'm so i 
with my brother right now!." upon red 
her Oscar. They're just close, she s; 

"Many people would say she's c 
the most beautiful women in the w< 
says Stone. "If only I were younger." 
you married?," I ask him. "I said. 'If c 
he says. i 

By the time she was 24, she had! 
three Golden Globes, for Gia, Georget 
lace (1997), and Girl, Interrupted. She I 
always been in the most successf 
films— Life or Something Like It (2002 
Taking Lives (2004) come to mind. Or i 
But she's tried, taking on weighty dr 
like Vie Bone Collector, with Denzel \ 
ington. in 1999 (she played a rookie 
to Washington's quadriplegic investig 
and Original Sin, with Antonio Band 
in 2001 (it featured lingering close-u 
her lips: the DVD promises "addit; 
footage too explicit for theatres"). 

"It's a problem of Hollywood, ni 
Angelina Jolie," says Mangold. 

"She comes from another era in 

15 6 



:ss." says Stone. "She's like a Bette 
or a Garbo. I told her she'd make a 
'Queen Christina." 



o, it's a romantic comedy 
about married assassins?," I 
ask about Mr. andMrs. Smith, 
which opens on June 10. 
("Their identities are a se- 
cret, even from each other," 
says the trailer. '"Love gets 

or me it was funny," Angie says, "be- 
I'm terrible at relationships—" 
' ;11 her she might be surprised one day. 
>ne day, one day," she says. "And it's 
now "cause I look at Mad and think, 
I it's got to be somebody who's worthy 
it kid." 
ly bar got so high," I say. 

high," she says. "You think you're 
; enough to be his parent?" 

gave up thinking there were any won- 

1 men." 

have, as of late," she says, 
hen we first met, we went on and on 
I how in love we are with our children 

Raider (2001) and its sequel, Lara Croft 
Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003). 
Which is kind of like if Adam West moved 
to the Batcave. She says she just liked the 
area. They also have a house in Cam- 

Once notorious for her fascination with 
the dark side (she gave interviews in which 
she admitted to being a self-cutter, said she 
wanted to be a vampire, and once contem- 
plated hiring someone to kill her), she now 
knows something even more terrifying: Drag- 
on Tales (the new Barney). "I hate Caillou! 
He whines," she complains of another an- 
noying cartoon. 

It seems her son is now her "Madness"; 
she also calls him "Khmer," "for the Cam- 
bodian people," and "My Love," "which is 
probably very telling," she says. 

She recently attended her first parent- 
teacher conference at his pre-school. "I 
changed the time three times," she said. 
"I remembered being sent to the princi- 
pal's office, so the idea made me nervous. 

"He had a helicopter necklace, but that's 
not O.K. in England," she confessed. "They 
downplay the individual, which is kind of 

love. It's kind of uh"— she fell silent— "trag- 
ic," she said. 

"You don't want to be married to some- 
one who's afraid of antiques," I said. 

She laughed. Thornton, 49— star of Mon- 
ster's Ball, and the 1996 Oscar winner for 
best adapted screenplay for Sling Blade— -is 
famous for his phobias of assorted strange 
things: antiques, germs, Komodo dragons, 
and, yes, Benjamin Disraeli's hairpiece. ("I 
just knew there were mites in it," he said.) 

"And the funny thing," Angie said, "is 
I'd actually have antiques in the house"— 
they lived from 2000 to 2002 in a Beverly 
Hills mansion once owned by the former 
Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash— "and I'd 
say to him, 'It's a reproduction, don't be 
insane. ' " As she talked about him. a slight 
southern accent crept into her speech. 
(Thornton's from Arkansas.) "And there 
was one day I kept saying that 'it's a re- 
production, don't be crazy,' and he opened 
up a drawer and it said 'Dynamite.' It was 
[a chest] made of an old dynamite box, and 
so I was busted." 

They had met on the set of Pushing Tin, 
in which they played an eccentric married 

having phone sex? "Absolute bullshit" she says. 

we both just about started lactating. 
. made me a woman!" she said. "He's 
reatest thing that's ever happened to 
ife, and I'm just so amazed, because 
adopted, that life led me to him, led 
) his country, and led us to each oth- 
!id thank God because both our lives 
Id be so completely different if that 
t happen." 

ie saw him for the first time in an or- 
mge when he was three months old. 
>aid, "I held him for the longest time, 
finally he woke up and stared at me, 
we stared at each other, and I was cry- 
ind he smiled and I felt, God, 'cause 
iiscomfort with children is because I 
me I can't make them happy, because 
been accused of being dark, or I've 
things in my fife where I'm not sure I 
t see myself as [that way]. I wasn't sure 
>e a great, loving, perfect mom even 
gh I wanted to be so bad— could I make 
eone comfortable and happy? But he 
ed and we hung out for a few hours, 
I could make him happy, and we felt 
a family." 

hey live in an eight-bedroom convert- 
armhouse in Buckinghamshire, En- 
d—the same county that is home to 
i Croft, the video-game-based action 
ine Angie played in Lara Croft Tomb 

a problem." Maddox also had a Mohawk. 
He travels with her everywhere and was 
somewhere in the hotel as we spoke, being 
watched by an assistant who seemed very 

lot of [people] have 
asked, Are you looking 
for a father? Does he 
have a father? Is there 
a man in your life?," 
Angie told me later. 
"To a point where my 
.standard answer has 
become: 'It's better to have nobody than 
somebody who is half there, or doesn't 
want to be there, or is there and then dis- 

She was still married to Thornton when 
she adopted Maddox. (They wed at the 
Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel, 
in Las Vegas, in May of 2000.) They split 
a few months after bringing him home- 
he was then 11 months old— amid rumors 
of Thornton's infidelity on the road with his 
band (the Billy Bob Thornton Band), ru- 
mors he has said were false. "I don't think 
they are untrue," Angie was quoted saying 
at the time. 

"He wasn't, uh, ready" for adopting a 
child, she told me, "but, uh, he sent me his 

couple. And then they became one, making 
for a media carnival. Here were Mr. and 
Mrs. Thornton with pendants of each oth- 
er's dried blood around their necks; here 
they were, arriving disheveled to an awards 
ceremony as Thornton explained, "We just 
[bleeped] in the limo on the way to the 
show," a quote which will probably follow 
him to his obituary. 

She said she didn't speak to him for a 
year and a half after leaving him, in 2002. 
"We finally kind of talked and purged. I 
wasn't planning on talking. But maybe 
'cause we're both artists, and he's a writer, 
he's very in touch with ways to express 
something, so he was able to call and say. 
This is what I understand about you and 
me, about life, and this friendship. 

"He's a really good man," she said. "He's 
hysterical— we had a lot of laughs. Probably 
one of the reasons I loved him so much is I 
don't giggle that much, and we met as two 
people who had been through pain and 
addiction"— she has said "heroin has been 
very close to me in my life"— "and life and 
just drama and deep inside ourselves and 
we got together and just started laughing. 

"What went wrong, or not even wrong," 
she said, "but what wasn't meant to be was 
he was focusing on his text continued on 


2 5 VANITY FAIR 157 

"If I ever saw a man be great with my child, then 


- *- 

uld be it for me" she says. "I actually know that.'' 





"Hes made me 
a woman! 
she says of Maddox. 
"He s the greatest 

P thing mats 
ever happened 

to my lifer 










Angelina and Maddox, 

whom she adopted from a 

Cambodian orphanage 

in 2002, strike a pose. 



Jeff Gannon in Washin«toi 

on March 24. 2005. 
the military he lives a bio 
the Marine B 




smelled like conspiracy: a former f I male escort who was going 
a fake name and had somehow obtained White House press passes 

i a regular basis was covering briefings for an obscure right-wing news outfit, 
id had even gotten to question the president. Suddenly, the blogosphere 
tched onto "Gannongate" exposing the sordid details of the 48-year-old zealots 
annohs motive was simple— to become a player— and his fate now hangs 
the ever narrowing gap between disgrace and a big book contract 

ne night last January, in the front room of his small, narrow 
apartment, in a building on the frayed fringes of gentrified 
Capitol Hill, Jeff Gannon took out a white tablet and sat 
down at his desk to write his question for the next day's 
White House briefing. 

By now, Gannon had been going through this routine 
for nearly two years, and he knew what he had to do. 
Getting called on was usually not the problem; once the 
White House press secretary, first Ari Fleischer and now 
Scott McClellan, had gotten through the first couple of 
rows— the network and newswire guys and reporters for 
the top newspapers, who got called on automatically, no 
matter how banal or predictable or liberal or disrespect- 
ful their questions— he'd get to him. But for the 48-year- 
old Gannon, that was never enough. His question had to 
stand out. It had to be punchy, distinctive, not something 
the "old media" would ask. It had to advance the conser- 
vative agenda, something about abortion or tax cuts or re- 
ligion or the war in Iraq that his constituency, the people 
in the red states and counties of America, would care about. 
It should be friendly toward the administration, not anoth- 
er of the cheap shots, the gotcha questions, he felt everyone 




- T- 








NEW YORK Tl- ■" 













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press conference with 


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sked. Ideally, it should be conspicuous 
gh to prompt a memorable response, 
least to make a point in itself, 
id it had to call attention to Jeff Gan- 
The daily question was all part of 
ion's grand strategy not just to elicit 
but to become a journalistic force 
s own right. Now that he had re- 
tened himself "Jeff Gannon"— James 
aert was his given name— he had to cre- 
id extend what he calls "the Jeff Gan- 
Drand." Only a few years earlier, he'd 
keeping the books at an auto-body 
in eastern Pennsylvania, and, if you 
v-e his Web sites, hiring himself out as 
Je escort for other men. In a fit of pa- 
c fervor shortly after September 11, 
he moved to Washington, D.C., where 
new almost no one. But now, as the 
e House correspondent for an obscure 
ation called Talon News— actually lit- 
ore than a collection of amateurs and 
believers posting a hodgepodge of right- 
"news" items online daily for Bobby 
le, a Texas Republican activist— he had 
me a fixture at the daily briefing. "Go 
d, Jeff," McClellan would say regular- 
ill, Gannon, someone who prided him- 
>n taking risks, on always "leading the 
de," was impatient. All these talking 
s on television during the 2004 presi- 
ial campaign were no better or more 
vledgeable than he. 
annon's unrelentingly partisan, syco- 
itic shtick irritated some of the other 
rters in the room. A few of them con- 
;ed him— "You really shouldn't kiss up 
lese guys," he says someone told him; 
i'H ruin your credibility"— while oth- 
hunned him or clammed up when he 
ed by. Dan Froomkin wrote, for The 
hington Post online, that many in the 
s corps accused Gannon of lobbing 
posterous softballs," and claimed Me- 
an would turn to him whenever things 
ough. Others wanted him out of there, 
ething that would be easy to do, since 
ot in only on day passes, not the "hard" 
iential that regular reporters had. But 
inon wasn't about to change. The rolled 
■>alls and gasps and groans— he took 
n all as compliments. 

3n that January morning, 
Gannon learned he was to 
get a bonus: the president 
of the United States him- 
self would be holding a 
press conference, the first 
of his second term. Gan- 
walked Winston, his 15-year-old Jack 
sell terrier, then jumped into a cab and 
reled over to the White House. Only 
e thus far had he gotten to ask Bush a 

question (and then only by shouting it out 
in the Rose Garden). Some reporters went 
years without such a chance. Thirty-five 
minutes in, the topic turned, unsurprisingly, 
to recent disclosures that Bush's Depart- 
ment of Education had paid the commen- 
tator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to 
promote its policies, the first of several dis- 
closures of White House media manipu- 
lation; details soon followed of payments 
to syndicated columnists Maggie Gallagher 
and Michael McManus, as well as of ersatz 
reports by paid administration flacks mas- 
querading as television correspondents that 
were offered to— and run by— many local 
stations. The president testily conceded the 
arrangement with Williams had been a mis- 
take, then uttered some boilerplate about 
the indispensability of an independent 
press, then urged reporters to view his poli- 
cies objectively. "Won't you?" he said with 
a wan smile. "Yes. I can see that," he add- 
ed, with no apparent conviction. Then he 
pointed to the beefy man with the shaved 
head in the fourth row. "Yes, 
sir," he said. Gannon's time had (^ 

finally come. 

Gannon thanked him, then 
jumped into his question. In 
fact, he even ad-libbed a bit, 
interpolating a line Rush Lim- 
baugh had used on his radio 
program the previous day, at- 
tributing to the Senate minor- 
ity leader, Harry Reid, of Ne- 
vada, something that Reid had 
never actually said. Gesturing 
casually, Gannon seemed as 
if he were chatting up an old 
friend, someone with whom he was cozy 
enough even to share enemies. And all be- 
fore a national audience. "Senate Demo- 
cratic leaders have painted a very bleak 
picture of the U.S. economy," Gannon de- 
clared in a slight Pennsylvania accent. "Har- 
ry Reid was talking about soup lines, and 
Hillary Clinton was talking about the econ- 
omy being on the verge of collapse. Yet, in 
the same breath, they say that Social Se- 
curity is rock solid, and there's no crisis 
there. How are you going to work— you said 
you're going to reach out to these people- 
how are you going to work with people 
who seem to have divorced themselves from 

Had Bush's response been more memo- 
rable, the question might not have stood 
out so much or lingered so long. But his 
long, meandering answer quickly evaporat- 
ed, and only Gannon's words endured. For 
a couple of hours, Gannon was thrilled, 
particularly after the supremely narcissistic 
Limbaugh praised the question on the air. 
In and of itself, that made it a grand day for 

the Jeff Gannon brand. But the tide soon 
turned. Indeed, with that single question, 
something on the American left seemed to 
snap. Its accumulated frustration— over los- 
ing the presidential election, over its grow- 
ing political impotence, over the admin- 
istration's attempts to manipulate what it 
already considered a passive, supine media, 
over seeing right-wing bloggers help take 
down Dan Rather and CNN boss Eason 
Jordan— boiled over. And the vitriol soon 
engulfed Jeff Gannon. 

Initially, Gannon was charged only 
with being a hack— a fake reporter 
with a fake name and nonexistent 
credentials who had gotten into 
the White House under false pre- 
tenses and who slavishly reprint- 
ed Bush-administration press re- 
leases in his articles. He was yet another 
prong in the White House's spin campaign, 
another appendage of Karl Rove. "Chip 
Rightwingenstein of the Bush Agenda Ga- 

Did I know sin 

before I knew 

salvation? You betP 

says Gannon. 

zette," Jon Stewart called him. But then, 
largely at the hands of John Aravosis, a gay 
blogger indignant at what he saw as Gan- 
non's hypocrisy and the homophobic com- 
pany he felt Gannon kept, the Internet 
yielded details of Gannon's secret life as a 
male escort— presumably the one, he now 
insists, he'd come to Washington, D.C., to 
leave behind. 

Gannon was inundated with hateful, of- 
ten homophobic e-mail. His mother and 
brother, he says, were threatened. On the 
air, in print, even in Doonesbury, he be- 
came a punching bag and punch line. "He 
actually had two jobs— one obviously was 
sleazy and shameful, and the other was a 
gay male prostitute," Bill Maher joked. Gan- 
non's career stopped dead in its tracks. He 
left his job at Talon News; then Talon News 
scrubbed his stories from its Web site; 
then Talon News suspended operations. 
The right-wing network that had given Gan- 
non an online radio program pulled the 
plug. Conservative stalwarts such as Lim- 
baugh and Sean continued on page 201 

e 2005 VANITY FAIR 165 



for almost half a century, L v Friedlander has — 
brought his witty, skeptical, investigative 
eye to every aspect of the American scene, 
capturing the divide between expectation and 

realitv. As the Museum of Modern Art 

opens what is perhaps its largest-ever one-man 

photography exhibition, MCKI GOLDBERG 

explores the quirky, unexpected power of 

Friedlander 's perceptions 


Ha vaatiu w, \ew York, 

1966, one of 

Lee Friedlander's 

many self-portraits. 




n close to 50 years as a photographer (not counting his first 
commission, at age 14, a portrait of the local madam's dog), 70- 
year-old Lee Friedlander has been just about as influential, as 
prodigious, and as unpredictable as the weather. On June 5, the 
Museum of Modern Art in New York will open "Friedlander" 
with more than 500 photographs, probably MoMA's largest one- 
man photography exhibition ever (with yet more in the cata- 
logue). Peter Galassi, chief curator of photography at MoMA and 
curator of the show, says, "I think it would be hard to come up 
with another photographer whose combination of quantity and 
quality has exceeded what Lee has done." 

In the 1960s, Friedlander skittered across the metropolitan 
scene armed with ironic amusement and sly skepticism about the 
promise of America. What he called "the social landscape" was 
an urbanscape of mirrors, reflections, and obstacles, the multi- 
layered, plate-glass city where new geometries emerge and clarity 
dissolves amid the manifold offerings of commerce. City people 
are incidental to traffic signs and streetlights, which are sometimes 
stand-up comics improvising at the crosswalk: one triangular sign 
valiantly supports a triple scoop of clouds, another stands en pointe 
atop a fake Egyptian pyramid. Friedlander has a gimlet, goofy eye 
for what were once called photographic mistakes: bumptious 
phone poles, stanchions, signposts, and window frames that ob- 
struct, fracture, and confuse the view till it becomes a metaphor 
for the distracted consciousness of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
contemporary life. 

In "New Documents," a 1967 
exhibition of Diane Arbus, Garry 
Winogrand, and Friedlander, 
MoMA curator and photographer 
John Szarkowski wrote that a new 
generation of documentarians mere- 
ly wanted to know the world rather „ 
than reform it— a cool, impersonal 
attitude akin to 1960s Pop and con- 
ceptualism. Even today Friedlander 
keeps his emotional distance, the 
better to describe the gap between 
the ideal planted by hope and con- 
vention in our minds and the stub- 
born nature of reality. 

He takes his own portrait ob- 
sessively and obliquely, whether as 
a stalker's shadow on a woman's 

He favors form 


absurd viewpoint 




Clockwise from top left: Mount Rushmore, 

Dakota, 1969; Nashville, Tennessee, 196.1; Doitri 

Stamford, Connecticut, 1973; Pliilatle 

Pennsylvania, 1 965 (a self-portrait); Texas.. 

(notice Friedlandcr's sh;n 



www.vonitytoir coti 

back or as a reflection in a store window, with a trophy for a head. 
Out West he photographed his shadow on scrubby ground where 
profligate bursts of weeds sprang from his head and crotch and 
lumpish stones seemed to replace his inner organs. His copious 
self-portraiture and intrusive shadow underline his constant in- 
vestigation of the nature of our perception of the world in pho- 
tographs, insisting that his images are pictures, in which the 
photographer is always, unavoidably present. His self stands in 
for our own; it superimposes its notions on our surroundings, tai- 
lors our perceptions to its measure, and yet is imperfectly visible to 
our eyes or understanding. 

Though he consistently favors formal complication, 
absurd viewpoints, and inconsequential settings, 
Friedlander has consistently, possibly uniquely, re- 
invented himself with new subjects and slight shifts 
in style— respectful portraits of jazz greats, idiosyn- 
cratic snapshots of family and friends, nudes (includ- 
ing Madonna) in unheard-of poses, flowers, and more. A series 
of American monuments includes Mount Rushmore in reflection 
behind tourists studying it with binoculars, and a bronze World 
War I doughboy prepared to shoot a woman passing by with a 
baby carriage. The monuments are mostly lonely memorials that 
preside over gas stations, beached ships, and weeds, our marble 

reverence for the past outma- 
neuvered by the persistent bar- 
gain basement of the present. 
When Friedlander photo- 
graphed television screens, 
some had eyes watching us, as 
if our representations could 
not be cowed. When he pho- 
tographed factory and com- 
puter workers, labor looked as 
concentrated as hypnosis, with 
unintended consequences: two 
women poring over a thick- 
et of wires became Siamese 
twins joined at the top of their 
hairdos. By the 1980s, he was 
discombobulating the land- 
scape, especially in the West, 
L as thoroughly as he had the 

M% ♦ city. Jeffrey Fraenkel of the 

Fraenkel Gallery in San Fran- 
cisco said Friedlander's pic- 
tures of Grand Teton National 
Park were "like Ansel Adams 
on crack." Others are full of 
delicate barricades: branches and leaves and underbrush that 
spatter and snake across the surface in patterns more clotted 
than Jackson Pollock's. 

Friedlander's photographs are about ways of seeing and 
ways of being in a world where the built environment is as in- 
different to us— and as messy and screwy— as the natural one. 
Who would have thought that America seen from such a wacky 
vantage point harbored its own order, humor, and hidden 
metaphors? No one but a photographer endowed with an ele- 
gantly complex formal instinct, a hip sense of irony, a maverick 
wit, and faith in the offbeat insights of his own spectacular 
curiosity. □ I VANITY FAIR I 169 


Steve and Elaine \\>no at the 
\\>nn Las \i«as Resort and 
Countn Club, photographed on 
March 30. 2005. "A lot of ptoct 
in Las Vegas are big boxes 
of stuff." says \Unn. "The hotels 
I've built have had. fjir Jack 
of a better term, a soul." 

Even as Steve WyniTs sight is 
failing, his vision grows more ambitious. 

Five years after selling his 

Mirage Resorts, the uncrowned king of 

Las Vegas has just finished building 

a shimmering. ISO-lloor hotel-casino, 

complete with 18 restaurants, a car 

dealership, golf course, spa. 

museum, and man-made mountain. 

Visiting the $2.7 billion follow-up to 

Wynn's famed Bellagio. NINA MUNk finds 

the man who re-invented 

Las Vegas grappling with his legacy — 

and. on at least one memorable 

occasion, losing his co"' 


or the past five years, ever since he so| 
Mirage Resorts to Kirk Kerkorian for S6.4 billion, Steve 
aged 63, has been planning a comeback. "It took Michela 
four years to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.) 
room took five." reads a brochure for his new casino and 
the Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Country Club. 

Wynn's latest creation, a curved, shimmering 50-floor cc 
colored wedge, rises from 217 acres of land at the north e| 
the Las Vegas Strip, on the site of the late Desert Inn. The 
resort is immense: it includes 2,700 rooms, 18 restaurants 
theaters, a man-made mountain, 1,960 slot machines, an U 
golf course, an artificial lake, two ballrooms, a 38,000-sqj 
foot spa and fitness center, topiary gardens, a museum [ 
priceless works of art from the Wynn Collection, 31 bouti< 
five swimming pools, a car dealership (Ferrari and MaseJ 
and two wedding chapels. 

To some people, the most notable feature of Wynn Las Ml 
may be its staggering cost: $2.7 billion. To put that figure inj 
spective: it is S300 million more than the U.S. government 
last year to fight the global aids crisis. Another point of I 
parison: S2.7 billion is roughly $1 billion more than the ccj 
the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot skyscraper going up a] 
site of the World Trade Center, in New York. 

To Steve Wynn, however, Wynn Las Vegas is not an emptl 
travagance— it is high art. On a February evening in Las Vega 
has invited me to a rehearsal of The Dream Sequence, a si 
lumiere show that is meant to be a core attraction of his new 
ect. There are just 63 days left until the opening of Wynn La 
gas, set for April 28, and despite his usual self-confidence, V 
seems nervous and edgy. He's easily ruffled. "Pre-opening i 
ways hell," confides his wife, Elaine, excusing his short tem 
Will people understand Wynn's grand vision? "I want peop 
be transported by the hotel," he says. "I'm thinking, What 
that would make people be delighted and amazed?" 

As the rehearsal begins, we are standing outside on a d 
ened terrace in front of Wynn Las Vegas, gazing upon a 
mountain eight stories high, its rough edges softened by til 
sands of pine trees just planted in mechanically stabilized ea 
A 45-foot waterfall spills into a three-acre lagoon, the Lak 
Dreams, at the base of the mountain. "It's all real," says Wj 
meaning, I infer, that the trees, water, rocks, and plants are 
plastic or papier-mache. 

"Let's take off the waterfall, can we?" says Wynn. 

"Cut the waterfall, please!" says the director. 

"We got it! We got it!" yells a technician. People weaij 


JUNE 2 (I 

Years am Wynn 

modeled his projects 

on Disney s. These do 
without irony, he alludes to 
St. Peters Basilica. 

A ■ 


■ Landscaping near one of the 

otel's entrances. "The idea of 

a theme— I had passed that." 

Bays Wvnn. Opposite: top, 

the Zoozacrackers deli, adjacent 

to the casino's racing and 

sports hook; bottom, the har in 

Wing Lei, one of three Asian 

restaurants at the resort. 






< / i 

" r 

&- * 



U*a^^ > 

be transported by the hoi 
s allure to that of a beautiful, mystei 
..:"'- and who personally chose the re 
e of bronze, cinnamon, and "apricot 
don, fuchsia, and periwinkle. (1) The 
>\er the resort's retailers. (2) A sequence fn 
la Soleil-sryle stage show. (3) Entrai 
l.istro. (4) The ceiling at the resort's 
hotel suite with reproductions of works I 
i slot-machine a 1 




— ~ mi- m 



Christian Slater 

(The Glass Menagerie) 

Delta Burke 

(Steel Magnolias) 

James Earl 
(On Go/der 

Tim Curry 


Lily Rabe 

(Steel Magnolias) 

Jeffrey Tambor 
(Glengarry Glen Ross) 


Alan Alda 

(Glengarry Glen Ross) 

Christina Applegate 

(Sweef Charity) 

Licv Schreiber 
(Glengarry Glen Ross) 

Brian F. O' Byrne 


Billy Cn 

(700 Sun 

> Dcnxcl Washington 

(Julius Caesar) 

veryone knows-or at least suspects-that you don't really 
have to be able to act to be in the movies. You just follow direc 
tions, and the real work gets done in theediting room That's one 
reason so many actors who could be raking in millions to nap in a 
trailer in LA. end up sweating buckets eight times a week..on Broad- 
way, braving cleaver-wielding critics and climax-wreek'ng ring 
tones. "Broadway is the Olympics for an actor," says Jonj&j. Reil 
ly, who is taking on the addecr challenge of. overcoming l^ndo 

I V A N I ! Y 1 A I K I V*« £_■ ' >a» M 

Josh Lucas 

(The Glass Menagerie) 

comparisons as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desti 
requires everything you've got every day." And the rewards a 
good as any gold medal. "It's a wonderful feeling," says Tim 
ry, one of the stars of Spama/of, the Monty Python extravag< 
that's likely to win best musical at the Tonys on June 5 at Radio 
Music Hall. "Broadway audiences are very enthusiastic. I supl 
you would be if you paid $100 a ticket." Yes, prices continue to 
rocket, but this year theatergoers seem to be getting their mort 


Sarah Paulson 

(The Glass Menagi 

Bill Irwin 

's Afraid of 
ia Woolf?) 



de Pierce 


Jeff Goldblum 

(The Pillowman) 

Jessica Lange 

(The Glass Menagerie) 

Kathleen Turner 

(Who's Afraid 
of Virginia Woolf?) 

Sutton Foste. 

(Lime Women) 

John C. Reilly 

(A Streetcar 
Named Desire) 

Natasha Richardson 

(A Streetcar Named Desire) 

fh. In addition to Spamalot, there are acclaimed productions 
Jward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Kath- 
Turner and Bill Irwin; John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, winner of 
gear's Pulitzer Prize for drama, with Brian F. O'Byrne and the 
mparable Cherry Jones; and Ernest Thompson's On Golden 
i with James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams. Other Hollywood 
-achievers on display this season: two-time Oscar winner Jes- 
Lange in The Glass Menagerie, two-time Oscar winner Denzel 

ulius Caesar, and eight-time Oscar host Billy Crys- 
jiographical one-man show, 700 Sundays. The allure 
of a Broadway debut is such that, even after breaking a foot in a 
Chicago performance of Sweet Charity, Christina Applegate con- 
vinced her producers that the show must go on. So how does "le- 
git" work differ from those cushy movie sets? "The singing was my 
biggest challenge," she says, before pausing to reconsider. "Well, 
now the broken foot is my biggest challenge." — michael hogan 

photograph BY NORMAN JEAN ROY 




7 1 

photograph; by JULIAN BROAD 

eled by testosterone, alcohol, and God knows what else, the 200-odd drivers 
the sixth annual Gumball 3000 raced their Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, and 
ler assorted vehicles out of Paris on May 5, 2004, headed for Cannes via Madrid, 
irbella, and Casablanca. The object: to drive as fast — and party as hard — as humanly 
ssible. In the ensuing 3,000-mile melee of arrests, mangled cars, and shattered bones, 
ORGE GURLEY experiences the insane camaraderie of the Gumball, with playboys, 
-setters, and eccentrics of every stripe sharing a week of living dangerously 



is Dodge Viper 

>rt in Tangier. Opposl 

tern Spain, Ramdane 

gainst the Bentley he's 

with Mourad Mazouz 

t's a glorious, cloudless afternoon in 
Morocco, and just outside Marrakech, cars 
are flying off the road. First, a Ford Escort 
Cosworth loses control at 140 miles per 
hour and tumbles into the desert, then a 
Ferrari crashes into a tractor and slams into 
a hedge, completely destroyed. A Dodge 
Viper is nearly cut in half. The word is that 
the driver is dead and the passenger is en 
route to the hospital. 

The carnage continues into the night. A 
guy gets knocked off his motorcycle, los- 
ing a finger, a few toes, and lots of blood. 
At the hospital, doctors examining his leg 
are at the ready with a saw. 

Locals walking along the highway seem 
bewildered. Little boys are jumping up and 
down, chanting, "Gumball, Gumball!," and 
throwing rocks at the cars. 

It's like a war zone, and the Gumball 
3000 Rally, a six-day, 3,000-mile, 192-car 
grand spree, is only at the halfway mark. 

7hree months prior to the events 
of May 2004, I watch, filled 
with unease, as Alexander Roy 
swaggers into the SoHo House, 
in New York City, where we're 
meeting to discuss my accom- 
panying him on the sixth annual Gumball 
3000. With his shaved head, wild blue 
eyes, and white motorcycle jacket, he 
looks like a movie villain, but he has an 
easy, calming manner, a contagious laugh, 
and legitimate credentials. A regular on 
the youth-charity-ball circuit, he runs a 
rental-car company, Europe by Car. chairs 
a Manhattan literary-readings series called 
the Moth, and, in a few months, will win 
the top prize on a British reality show Tlie 
Ultimate Playboy. 

Still, Em a little concerned about being 
in the backseat of his BMW as he drives, 
at speeds of 140 m.p.h. and up, from Paris 
to Madrid, Marbella, Casablanca, Mar- 
rakech. Fez. Barcelona, and Cannes. "The 

fact is, if we have an accident at 150 miles 
a n ur, we're not likely to survive it," he 
-dipping a hot chocolate. "But on the 
"lip side, Em really serious about safety, 
and not all these guys are." 

A few nights later, Roy and I attend an 
event honoring the racecar driver Mario 
Andretti. He says he'd never do the Gum- 
ball: "Too many unknown elements." 

Shortly before I leave for Paris, at the 
Manhattan nightclub Marquee, I confer 
with actor Johnny Knoxville, of Jackass 
fame. He participated in the third Gumball 
3000, from London to Moscow and back, 
with an MTV camera crew in tow. "The 
Gumball was one of the greatest times of 
my life!," Knoxville hollers over the music. 
"There hasn't been a death yet. but I have 
no idea how! If you want to be safe, don't 
go on the Gumball?' 

n May 3, 2004, Paris's 
Four Seasons Hotel 
George V begins filling 
up with some 500 car 
freaks and adrenaline 
junkies. More than half 
are European, and about 75 percent are 
testosterone-fueled males: playboys, jet- 
setters, trustafarians, lawyers, bankers, com- 
puter geeks, royals, Saudi oilmen, C-list 
celebrities, and a few billionaires. 

While some participants are doing the 
Gumball on a budget, it isn't easy. The en- 
try fee is £10,000 (about S 19,000), and 
the bare minimum in expenses is S5,000— 
if you have your own car. live near the 
starting line, and don't get any speeding 
tickets. Most Gumballers are set back 
$20,000 to S80.000. after factoring in gas, 
airline tickets, shipping, and insurance. 
The real big shots shell out $250,000 to 
$ 1 million for their supercars, support ve- 
hicles, and crews. 

In exchange, they are set loose in a sur- 
real parallel universe. Staying in five-star 
hotels and partying in chic nightclubs, they 
get to live like rock stars, outlaws, sugar- 
high children. Press releases sometimes 
oversell the event's celebrity wattage, but 
this year's headliner, actor Adrien Brody, 
actually appears, as do former boxing 
champ Chris Eubank, supermodel Jodie 
Kidd, and the cast of The Ai Ya Boys, 
MTV Asia's version of Jackass. 

By 11 p.m. several dozen Gumballers 
have taken over the hotel bar. After a few 
back^lapping greetings, Alex Roy gets 
a Ccinipari-and-soda and sits down. "The 
test aov is will the Moroccan leg go 
•ifely vs. "Eve heard two things, 

i've he irri 'hat the roads are the worst 
in the md Eve heard that the su- 

perhigh re taking is among the best 

in the world, and that theres no 

On the previous Gumball, whic 
ed in San Francisco (Mayor Williel 
waved everyone off) and finished in f 
Roy distinguished himself by turr 
BMW M5 into a fake German 
car. complete with sirens and ligbj 
a blow-up sex doll in the backse 
wore nurse, priest, doctor, police, al 
itary costumes, and when he got | 
over he'd deliver a speech in Ger 
French. "The police would be baf 
pecially the small-town ones," he 
"They'd just start laughing and let 
Roy's antics won him the covetec 
trophy, which honors the virtues of I 
ance, humor, and eccentricity. Thj 
he wants it again. 

Roy's publicist, Gina DeFraJ 
saucy blonde in a tight denim dress! 
in. "What's going on tonight? L| 
dance," she says. "I always say. S\ 
and dance.' I danced in a movie! I 
actress in my 20s. I did over 80 tel^ 

We are interrupted by the sounl 
Dodge Viper gunning its engine o| 
the hotel. The driver is Jerry ReyncJ 
software and "doggy day care" exe 
from Fargo, North Dakota. He is a] 
panied by a team of associates in whj 
coats, crowded into a yellow Hummj 
with the skull of a yak mounted 
hood and a pair of fake yak testiclel 
gling from its back bumper. "Youj 
have balls to do the Gumball," c| 
them explains. Reynolds wants the 
trophy, badly. To that end his teai 
created a science-fiction superhero d 
ter called Torquenstein, who is halfj 
half machine. 

Tagging along with Reynolds's a 
ates, Roy and I follow the Viper t 
Eiffel Tower, where it performs high- 
loops around a grassy traffic island, 
ing exhaust and drawing the attenti 
the police. "We're about to piss on 
tury of goodwill between the two coun 
Roy says, watching from a safe dist 
"They gave us the Statue of Libert; 
give them Torquenstein." 

Although the Gumball can easi 
dismissed as frivolous, Eurotrashy, eve 
scene, it does have its redeeming qua 
You hear a lot about the "Gumball s\ 
People who have it don't whine, the; 
with it." They may act recklessly, but 
don't behave selfishly. Another consta 
frain is: "It's a rally, not a race." The ( 
ball isn't about getting to each check 
first; it's about camaraderie. If anothe 
ver is having car trouble or vomiting 
side the hotel, one must stop to help c 

The whole operation is disorgar 






e-spitting BMW 850 driven by 
. Warren, owner of the underground 
i label Fuel, in Malaga, Spain. 
t n calls the Gumball "one of the last 
• ns of freedom left in the world." 





^__ ^^^ 


1 1 '/' 

1 -w I 

♦ . * 

< » - 





* ■Ml 1 




' - 






/ DON T CARE /f we blow up. 


ave no idea uhere 
until ihey get a route card 
at the next checkpoint. 

The genesis of the Gumball was a 
1960s coast-to-coast road trip in homage 
to the Izte Erwin "Cannonball" Baker, 
who, three decades earlier, had driven a 
Cadillac from San Diego to New York in 
seven days, 11 hours, and 52 minutes. He 
made a subsequent cross-country trip in 
53 hours 30 minutes, but by the late 1970s 
that time was cut nearly in half. More ille- 
gal road races popped up in the 1970s and 
80s, and Hollywood capitalized on the 
craze with films such as The Gumball Rally 
(1976) and Cannonball Run (1981). 

Gumball owes its current incarnation to 
Maximillion Cooper, a 32-year-old British 
playboy with a skateboarding background 
and degrees in law and fashion design. 
In 1999, Cooper invited his 
posh friends, including Jason 
Priestley, Billy Zane, and Dan- 
nii Minogue, to take part in a 
six-day road trip, a throwback 
to the 1970s, with stops at pal- 
aces and castles. 

That first Gumball was low- 
key and incident-free. Only 55 
cars took part, and everyone 
knew one another. The second, 
with 85 cars, began in London 
and went to Spain, France. Italy, 
and Germany. There were two 
accidents, a $12,000 fine for 
overtaking a police cruiser, and a 
$19,000 bar bill. The third Gum- 
ball, from London to Russia and 
back, really got crazy. There were 
106 cars this time, as well as re- 
ports of carjackings, crashes, and 
arrests. Thanks to good publicity 
on MTV and in British lad and car 
magazines, the Gumball got bigger 
from there. 





Last year's rally, the one I 
went on, was the biggest 
yet, with 192 cars. By 
then. Cooper and his wife, Julie 
Brangstrup, a Danish beauty 
with a strong personality, were 
running the operation together. They 
want it to become a brand name, and it's 
on its way, with a clothing line, toys, video 
games, and various film projects. A Burt 
Reynolds-narrated documentary on the 
2003 Gumball reached No. 9 on the DVD 

The 2005 rally departs London's Trafal- 
gar Square on May 14 and stops in Prague, 
Vienna. Budapest, Dubrovnik. Sicily, and 
Rome before ending in Monte Carlo's Casi- 
no Square on the 20th. That night, there's a 

I82VANI T Y FAIR,' w»w,,on,l^,r. 

i *v 








vermmanl N 


/ CWI«AU.3000HAU> 


amborghini departs Paris at the start of the rally, 
2004. (2) Torquenstein gets into his car near 

el lower, where he had a run-in with the local police. 

en Brody poses with his Porsche 911 Turbo. 

in "t annonbair Baker, wearing goggles, sits behind 

el of a Frontenac at the 1922 Indianapolis 500. 
Hawk points out the defaced signage at a checkpoint 

iga. (6) In Morocco, Jodie Kidd rides shotgun in a 

ti. (7) Brodv's Porsche follows a Bentlev in Morocco. 







£^**J ** 

* = = = = — 



»•- r»- t"- r»- 1 r'- r-»- 







$tt$> u ' r> 


V Noble, left, and an L-typo 

through Casablanca. Encouraged to speed 

by the police, Gumhallcrs got i 

gruesome accidents in Morocco - 

a map of the route, divided by 

Worn c«ntui-i ***8S 

jn the Gumball Super Yacht; among 
elcrs. assuming they make it, will be 
Wilson, Adrien Brady, Johnny Knox- 
raveling in a Dukes ofHazzard car), 
I Hannah (in an electric car), and the 
• 50 Cent, who promises to perform 
vening along the way. 
hough there have been more appli- 
his year than ever— as many as 5,000 
ith the rally itself will be smaller, 
20 cars. But Cooper says he expects 
eds of thousands of people to flock 

anwhile, there are already big plans for 
'06 rally. "It's a hundred levels higher," 
er says. "We got China making it a 
al holiday and stuff. It's going to start 
idon. We're driving a thousand miles 
Europe to Venice, and then Istanbul, 
hen I'm going to fly all the cars and all 
ople to Beijing. And we're going from 
g across to Shanghai, and then on a 
o Japan, and from Tokyo I'm going to 
eryone to Las Vegas and do the last 
Los Angeles. It should be amazing." 

|^^ ack in Paris, it's 36 hours before 

■ the checkered flag, and Shane 

VJ Slevin, a 61-year-old Irishman 

^^ in a black leather jacket with a 

[ M patch that reads, "I Do Take 

]0 Bribes," is drinking white wine 

hotel bar. A mythic figure, he has 

on all six Gumballs. Johnny Knox- 

las called Slevin his "ultimate hero." 

the third Gumball, Slevin was thrown 

ail in Latvia for brawling with the au- 

<es, for which he won the Spirit trophy. 

"I'm known for not sleeping," he slurs. 
"Loads of partying. Valium for breakfast 
with a croissant. Ten o'clock I have a glass 
of white wine. I'm known for getting hook- 
ers. Last night it was great fun. Go-go 
dancers. Three prostitutes. Went to bed at 
five a.m." He wishes to recant something he 
told me earlier. "I didn't mention buggering 
Moroccan boys," he says. "I'm not going to 
do buggery on this one. We're going to go 
with girls, do something different this year." 

Recently, Slevin was institutionalized af- 
ter he blew £2.5 million in a week. He ex- 
plains that he had suffered a "chemical 
imbalance in my brain" after giving up al- 
cohol and drugs for three months. 

Roy appears and we head over to the 
garage full of Gumball cars, among them 
24 Lamborghinis, 68 Ferraris, 34 Porsches, 
and two Pagani Zondas, as well as Mor- 
gans, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Corvettes, a 
stretch limousine, a London taxi, old Amer- 
ican muscle cars, and the cheapest entry, 
a $10,000 Citroen 2CV with a maximum 
speed of 60 m.p.h. 

At an outdoor cafe near the hotel, four 
men are eating steaks and drinking pints. 
Attired in matching Panama hats, blazers, 
cravats, and linen trousers, they appear to 
be rich English gentlemen from a bygone 
era. They cheerfully announce that they've 
inherited money and do nothing but sail, 
play tennis, and party. 

All are 30 years old and traveling to- 
gether in a Bentley with the Union Jack 
painted on the top. Their behavior is ab- 



surdly arrogant and entitled. So what's the 
mood like?, I ask. "We're thinking about 
getting some sleep because we're all ab- 
solutely knackered." 

"We did the really wise thing: went out 
last night and got very drunk." 

"God bless the empire." 

Do they have any fears? "Yeah, I don't 
want to get arrested and slung in a Moroc- 
can jail and buggered by Arabs, basically." 

They spot a Bentley at a stoplight on the 
corner and politely applaud as it passes by. 

t seven p.m. the hotel ball- 
room is packed with 500 
Gumballers drinking, smok- 
ing, and talking big. Fabi- 
an Basabe, an "It boy" of 
young Manhattan society, 
walks in and sees some new faces. "You 
know, there's a small group of us original 
Gumballers," he says. "We know what we're 
doing and we'll be in the lead." 

The fourth Gumball began at New York's 
Plaza hotel, where the kick-off party drew 
Keanu Reeves and Cannonball Run alum- 
nus Jackie Chan. Among the celebrities 
driving legs were Matthew McConaughey, 
Hugh Hefner, Rachel Hunter, and two 
Baldwin brothers. That year, Basabe drove 
200 miles in the wrong direction and re- 
ceived 23 speeding tickets in six days. "I 
tend to get lost," he admits. 

"He was in serious trouble," recalls Slevin. 
"He had to use an American lawyer to get 
out of trouble. His father wasn't very happy. 
Fabian's very rich. He owns sauna clubs, 
massage parlors, girls." 
"I do not," Basabe says. 
Max Cooper has been working the room 
with an easy, Zen-like smile. "It's nice to 
see what I've tried to create in the first 
place is starting to be achieved," he says, 
his blue eyes flashing behind blue-tinted 
shades. "This week I'm dealing with peo- 
ple that lead more glamorous, more pow- 
erful lifestyles than I do. You know, we've 
got bosses of banks and some royalty and 
whatever. They're quite powerful individu- 
als in their world, and for this week I con- 
trol what they do." 

What's the worst that could happen on 
this journey? "Accident," he says. "Touch 
a bit of wood." 

The party moves to a nightclub across 
the street, where a tall blonde wearing a 
white tank top and a black miniskirt is 
grinding on the dance floor. She is from 
Atlanta and her name is KP Cote. After 
a man takes a photograph up her skirt, 
she tells me she's not driving in the Gum- 
ball; she's chartering planes to each desti- 
nation so she can attend the parties. 
She savs she's continued on page 216 | VANITY PAIR 



i the ice cream face" 
(as he was called by the crooked cop in 1 957's Sweet Smell of 
Success) turns 80 this month. Tony Curtis has been in the game 
for 56 years, with 106 starring movie roles under his belt. In April, 
the actor, painter, and raconteur was given a Lifetime Achieve- 
ment Award at the Jules Verne Film Festival, in Paris. "Only when 
I leave America," he says, "do I realize how famous I am." 

In his long career, Curtis has worked with the best directors- 
Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, and Stanley Kubrick (his favorite) 

the 1956 circus movie Trapeze, or teetering in high h 
Marilyn Monroe's boyfriend and girlfriend in 1 959's So< 

1 1 M m lit JH. VJXi iTSTti ^ liT* I itMiTT* li Ti t 

prison-break movie, The Defiant Ones, or slipping out c 
cuffs in 1 953's Houdini. Or invited into Laurence Oliviei 
in Kubrick's 1960 Roman epic, Spartacus, or lured into B 
caster's power-mad web as the scheming press agent 
Falco in Sweet Smell of Success. 

"!n my profession, you sell your freedom. But if you 
right, it won't destroy you," Curtis says. Now living outs 
Vegas, he always beat the odds: later this month 80 of hi 
ings will be shown at the MGM Grand, and Quentin Tar 
will direct him in the season finale of C.S.I. Curtis is still fe 
"It was no big deal to stand there naked," he says about t 
photo shoot. "I felt released. That's something for a man 
been in pictures for over 50 years." —SAM ka 





Jill and Tony Curtis at their home 

in Henderson, Nevada, 

on April 5, 2005. Tony holds the 

couple's two Yorkshire terriers. Daphne 

and Josephine. 


V I TZ • s 



Frank Sinatra, shown here in 1956. 
maintained all his life to reporu 
and federal investigators that he had 
nothing but a passing knowledge 
of Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, 
\Va\ey Gordon, or Willie Moretti. 


188 V A N I i > FAIR 


Reports of his Mafia connections followed 

Frank Sinatra for decades, while he dodged 
congressional investigations, sued newspapers, 

and hid the fact that his family came from the 
same tiny Sicilian town as notorious crime boss 
Lucky Luciano. In an excerpt from their 
new biography, ANTHONY SUMMERS and 

ROBBYN SWAN finally reveal the extent of 
Sinatra's Mob ties, including the death threats 
that got him cast in From Here to Eternity 
and his orgy-filled trip to Havana 
at the time Luciano ordered the killing 
of Bugsy Siegel — and modern 
Las Vegas was born 

o so no Sicilian o . . . " 
I am Sicilian. 

At the age of 71, in the summer of 1987, 
Frank Sinatra was singing, not so well by 
that time, in the land of his fathers. "I want 
to say," he told a rapt audience at Palermo's 
Favorita stadium, "that I love you dearly 
for coming tonight. I haven't been in Italy 
in a long time— I'm so thrilled." 

Sinatra's paternal grandfather grew 
up in Sicily, but beyond that the family's 
background on the island has remained 
obscure. The grandfather's obituary, which 
appeared in The New York Times because 
of his famous grandson, merely had him 
born "in Italy" in 1884 (though his Amer- 
ican death certificate indicates he was born 
much earlier, in 1866). Twice, in 1964 
and in 1987, Frank Sinatra told audiences 
that his family had come from Catania, 
about as far east as one can go in Sicily. 
His daughter Nancy, who consulted her 
father extensively while working on her two 
books about his life, wrote that her great- 
grandfather had been "born and brought 
up" in Agrigento, in the southwest of the 
island. His name, according to her, was 

In fact Sinatra's grandfather came from 
neither Catania nor Agrigento, was born 
earlier than either of the dates previously 
reported, and his name was not John, or 
Gianni, but Francesco— in the American 
rendering, Frank. Kathy Kirkpatrick, a ge- 
nealogist who specializes in the study of 
Sicilian records, took part in the research 
that led to this discovery, and agrees with 
our findings. 

Sicilian baptismal and marriage rec- 
ords. United States immigration and census 
data, and interviews with surviving grand- 
children establish that Francesco Sinatra 
was born in 1857 in Lercara Friddi, a town 

Excerpted from Sinatra: Vie Life, 

by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. 

to be published this month by Alfred A. Knopf: 

© 2005 by the authors. 

of aboul 10,000 inhabitants in the hills of 
n vest Sicily. It lies 15 miles east of 
one. a name made famous by The 
father and in real life a community 
credited with breeding more future Amer- 
ican mafiosi than any other place in Sicily. 
It was Lercara Friddi, however, that pro- 
duced the most notorious American mafi- 
oso of the 20th century. Francesco Sinatra's 
hometown spawned Lucky Luciano, de- 
scribed by one of his own lawyers as hav- 
ing been, quite simply, "the founder of the 
modern Mafia." 

Luciano, whose real name was Salva- 
tore Lucania, was born in Lercara Friddi in 
1897. Old parish registers examined during 
the work on our book show that his parents 
and Francesco Sinatra and his bride, Rosa 
Saglimbeni, were married at the church of 
Santa Maria della Neve within about two 
years of each other. Luciano was baptized 
there, in the same font as Francesco's first 
two children. 

In all the years of speculation about 
Frank Sinatra's Mafia links, this coincidence 
of origin has remained unknown. Other 
new information makes it very likely that 
the Sinatras and the Lucanias knew each 
other. The two families lived on the same 
short street, the Via Margherita di Savoia, 
at roughly the same time. Luciano's ad- 
dress book, seized by law-enforcement au- 
thorities on his death in 1962 and available 
today in the files of the U.S. federal Bu- 
reau of Narcotics, contains three entries 
for individuals who lived in Lercara Frid- 
di: two members of his family and the 
other a man named Saglimbeni, a relative 
of the woman Francesco Sinatra married. 

Frank Sinatra could have learned 
from any of several relatives that 
his people and Luciano came 
from the same town. He certainly 
should have learned the name of 
the town from Francesco, the grand- 
father he remembered fondly as 
"Pops," who lived with Frank's fam- 
ily after his wife's death and often 
minded his grandson when the boy's 
parents were out. 

Francesco, moreover, survived to 
the age of 91, until long after Luciano 
had become an infamous household 
name and Frank Sinatra an internation- 
ally famous singer. Sinatra himself 
indicated, and a close contemporary 
confirmed, that he and his grandfather 
were ' \ery close." Late in life, he said he 
had gone out of his way to "check back" 
on his Sicilian ties. Yet he muddied the 
historical waters by suggesting that his fore- 
bears came from Sicilian towns far from 
Lercara Friddi. The motive for the obfus- 
cation may lie in the family involvement 

with bootlegging during Frank Si] 
childhood and, above all, in his ov 
time, intimate relationship with Luc 

Frank grew up in Hob 
New Jersey, where hi 
ents, Marty and Doll 
a tavern during Prohij 
The Sinatras needed 
for their bar and theyl 
ed protection, servicej 
gangsters could supply. Prohibition 
a bonanza for the Italian and Jewish! 
sters who were eventually to join forq 
control organized crime in America 
first big-name mobsters were makir 
tunes and fighting bloody battles for tl 
ry: Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Joe A| 
Johnny Torrio, Longy Zwillman, 
Moretti, Waxey Gordon, Dutch Scl 
Frank Costello— and Lucky Luciano| 

The gangsters were exceptionally 
in New Jersey. The Hoboken docks 
key transit point for booze shipment 
Marty Sinatra was one local Italian| 
got involved. "He aided in bootlegjj 
his son would admit years later, 
was to follow the trucks with the boc 

they weren't hijacked I rememb 

the middle of the night— I was only 
or four years old— I heard sobs, tei 

crying and wailing I think my old] 

was a little slow and he got hit or 
head. And he came home and he| 
bleeding all over the kitchen." 

Frank said that his father's bootlejl 
activity was on behalf of "one of the 1 1 
guys" of the day. He did not say wj 
tough guy, but in 1995 his daughter N 




toW when in Italy. 

Sinatra makes 
excuses for not visiting i 
faples and Luciano. i 
However he * 

always telephones." 


ucky Luciano and cohorts, 
Sicily in 1946, after the mafioso 
id been released from prison 
New York and exiled to Italy. 
•set, Frank Sinatra as a boy 
Hoboken, where his parents 
*~vern and his father — 
in bootlegging. 


(1) Sinatra at the Westchester Premier Theater, in Ta. 
New York, in 1976 with Mob boss Carlo Gambino. far 
and Gambino member Gregory DePalma. at left. (2) " 
boss Frank Costello. (3) Lucky Luciano dead after a h< 
attack at the Naples airport, 1962. (4) Luciano, far rig 
celebrating with friends. (5) Sinatra in a recording studii 
early 60s. (6) Sinatra at a baccarat table in the Sands 
and Casino, in Las Vegas. (7) Lucky Luciano detained ii 
by Benito Herrera. chief of the Cuban secret police. It 
and Alfredo Pequeno. Cuban interior minister. February 
(8) Sinatra talks to Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Rennet 
a benefit at the Beverly Hilton, in Los Angeles. 1961. 







•*:*«* - 

arty in 

Los Angles. I960. ///vT^sinatra. 
center, affixing at the lUriana airport 
in February A94J. carries a ba« allegedly 
full of cash, and is in the company 

of mobsters Joe Fischetti (cmerin 

his face) and Rocco Fischetti. 

3 were 

speculations of a 
disgusted nature by 
observers who 
saw Frankie, night 
after night, with 
Mr. Luciano." 

that her grandparents had been 
td to "rub elbows" with major crimi- 
Dne of them, she specified, was the 
:gger Waxey Gordon, who, we know, 
isiness with Luciano. According to 
riter Pete Hamill, who had rare ac- 
d Frank many years later, the story 
boken was that Gordon had been 
ular" at the Sinatras' bar. 
By Sinatra was close to her brothers 
nick and Lawrence, both of whom 
to serious trouble during Prohibition, 
nce's criminal record began with an 
for selling liquor to soldiers. By 1921, 
he was 20 and out on bail facing 
s of having murdered an American 
ss driver, he was wanted by police in 
ction with two New Jersey holdups 
nother murder. In 1922 he was ar- 
after yet another holdup, in which a 
man had been shot dead. Before dy- 
ne policeman named as his killer a 
nent associate of Waxey Gordon's, 
len Lawrence stood trial in the Amer- 
Express case and was found guilty, 
appeared in court masquerading as 
ife. She later visited Lawrence in 
i regularly, then took him into her 
when he was released. He lived with 
inatras for several years, and Frank 
d him. 

ing near the Sinatras on Monroe 
t during Prohibition was a family 
d Fischetti, and one of the Fischetti 
en was close to Frank. Members of 
imily, according to police sources, 
truck operators involved in organized 
and in touch with the three notori- 
ischetti brothers associated with both 

Chicago's Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. 
The brothers, Rocco, Charlie, and Joseph, 
lived in the New York area before relocat- 
ing to the Midwest. 

Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, Meyer 
Lansky's right-hand man, still kept a photo- 
graph of Marty and Dolly Sinatra on his 
coffee table long after they were dead. "I 
knew Frank Sinatra from when he was a 
kid," he said in his old age. "He always want- 
ed to be a gangster, this phony bastard." 

id I know those guys?," 
Frank said late in life, re- 
ferring to the Mafia. "Sure, 
I knew some ... I spent a 
lot of time working in sa- 
loons. And saloons are 
not run by the Christian 
Brothers." Over nearly four decades, vari- 
ous congressional committees and state 
bodies sought to question Sinatra about 
his Mob connections. When forced to tes- 
tify, he was often truculent, always evasive. 
"Serious business, giving yourself over 
to 'the Boys,'" the singer Mel Torme re- 
called. "Their power in the entertainment 
field was indisputable. The price a perform- 
er would have to pay, however, was almost 
certainly unacceptable." Warned by his 
manager that the mobsters "would literally 
run your life," Torme said, he managed to 
work without them. 

Other entertainers close to Frank were 
manipulated by gangsters. Comedian Jim- 
my Durante had a tough guy and fringe 
underworld character as his manager, was 
bankrolled in a Broadway show by Waxey 
Gordon, and counted Bugsy Siegel as a 
friend. So did the actor George Raft, who 
had a good grounding for the gangster 

roles that brought him fame. He started 
out as a small-time hoodlum, riding shot- 
gun on booze trucks making deliveries to 
Dutch Schultz. Joe E. Lewis, remembered 
as a comic, was also a good tenor until he 
defied the owners of the Green Mill club 
in Chicago by leaving to perform at a rival 
nightspot. Assailants beat him senseless 
and slashed his face and throat with a hunt- 
ing knife. Lewis's singing days were over. 

By the late 1930s there were more than 
200,000 jukeboxes in bars and taverns 
across the country. They represented a 
multi-million-dollar industry, and it was 
dominated by gangsters. The criminals 
largely controlled what records were played, 
and thus what songs made the weekly 
hit parade. 

Five years after the end of Prohibition, 
the Mob bosses had their hooks into 
every facet of the music industry, as well 
as theatrical agencies and Hollywood stu- 
dios. Their operation was indeed now 
"organized" crime, with disciplined lead- 
ership and rules enforced nationwide. The 
acknowledged leader of this crime net- 
work, with a personal interest in the enter- 
tainment world, was Lucky Luciano. 

Three decades after his poor 
parents had brought him 
from the Sicilian village of 
Lercara Friddi, Luciano was 
wealthy and wielded unprec- 
edented power. His begin- 
nings, however, had not been 
auspicious. He was a shoplifter as a child, 
and at 18 was jailed for six months on a 
narcotics charge. He was arrested in New 
Jersey for carrying a loaded revolver. There 
was also a string of armed-robbery, larce- 
ny, and gambling charges that he beat or 
escaped with only a fine. 

According to one of his biographers, 
Luciano progressed from beatings to 
no fewer than 20 murders to pioneering 
drug trafficking. One of his attorneys 
thought him "sadistic." Another observ- 
er described him as "wily, rapacious . . . 
savagely cruel, like some deadly King 
Cobra . . . [he] coiled himself about the 
Eastern underworld." By 1928, having dis- 
tanced himself from personal involvement 
in violence, he was ordering others to kill. 
In the course of the next three years, the 
murders of three major criminals marked 
the end of the "old Mafia." Luciano, who 
was involved in at least two of those killings, 
emerged at the age of 34, in 1931, as the 
head of the new national crime syndicate. 
The face he showed to the world in the 
early 1930s was that of a wealthy business- 
man. He lived in style in New York at the 
Waldorf Towers, going out at night to the 

E 2 5 

■ V A N I T Y FAIR | 195 

rolled Durante 
on, Lewis and Rafl 
ested in Broadway musicals 
and— to extend the crime empire to Holly- 
wood—played a leading part in establishing 
Mob control of the stage employees* union. 

In 1936, having been declared New York v 
"Public Enemy Number One."" Luciano 
was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a 
long prison term for running a chain of 
brothels. Behind bars, however, he would re- 
main, in the words of one scholar, "one of 
the most brilliant criminal executives of the 
modern age." Senior Mob associates stayed 
in constant touch. 

Prominent among those accomplices were 
Frank Costello and Willie Moretti. More.ti 
'"idolized" Luciano and was his most loyal 
associate, according to a federal Bureau of 
Narcotics document. He and Costello had 
committed juvenile crime, robbery and as- 
sault, then moved on to major-league crime 
during Prohibition. Moretti, whose neighbors 
in New Jersey saw him as a good family 
man. benefactor of local charities, and regu- 
lar churchgoer, was a brute and a murderer. 
Costello, in New York, was a wise adviser to 
criminal associates and an effective corrupter 
of public officials. He. too, was a killer. 

Moretti controlled casinos and night- 
spots in northern New Jersey and else- 
where. The Riviera, high on a bluff near the 
George Washington Bridge, was his show- 
piece. It was popular for its nightclub, which 
had a roof that slid back in summer so that 
couples could dance beneath the stars, and 
notorious for its Marine Room, where ille- 
gal gambling went on. The young Sinatra 
used to stop by on his way home after sing- 
ing at the Rustic Cabin, a nearby steak-and- 
chop house. 

Costello's fiefdom was Manhattan, and 
like Luciano he had major show-business 
interests. He was covert owner of the Copa- 
cabana nightclub and was said to have an 
interest in the Stork Club and, eventually, in 
the Tropicana, in Las Vegas. He befriended 
and hired Joe E. Lewis. In Hollywood, Cos- 
tello had influence with studio chiefs Harry 
Cohn and Jack Warner. 

Frank Sinatra said he did not set eyes on 
Luciano until 1947. and then only in a chance 
encounter that amounted to no more than a 
handshake and a drink. Even had he heard 
the mobster's name, he asserted, he might 
not have connected it with the Mafia boss. 
This of the most notorious gangster of his 
time, who came from Frank's own family's 
hometown in Sicily. 

Frank knew Costello. "Just to say 'Hello'" 
in nightclubs, he would one da.) tell Senate 
investigators. Others hod different memories. 
Nick Sevano. Sinatra's lifelong friend and 
associate, firmly recalled Costeiio as one of 
"those guys" with whom Frank "'sat around 

and ' ilked all night in the clubs." The col- 
Li n list John Miller, Costello's intimate friend 
' opacabana dining companion, said, 

"Sinatra and Frank C. were great pals 

ttra would join us all the time." 

As for Moretti. Frank said he never heard 
of him until the mid-1940s, when Moretti 
became his "neighbor." The mafioso did 
live around the corner from Frank in the 
1940s. "Our backyards just about touched." 
Moretti's daughter Angela told us. Frank 
said he had declined the invitation when 
Moretti asked him to dinner. "Later," he 
added, "he introduced himself at a restau- 
rant, and I subsequently saw him five or six 
times over a period of years." On another 
occasion, he said someone— he claimed he 
could not recall the man's name— brought 
Moretti to see him at home. He knew the 
mafioso, he said, only "very faintly." 

Yet Moretti was present, as were Sinatra's 
parents, when Frank opened at the Copa- 
cabana in 1950. The Las Vegas restaurateur 
Joe Pignatello, the personal chef to another 
top mobster, said before his death in 2001 
that Moretti was Sinatra's "longtime friend." 
Tina Sinatra, Frank's daughter, has acknowl- 
edged that her father knew people like Mo- 
retti "all his life." 

Frank had probably had contact with 
top New York-area mobsters as early as 
1938 or 1939. The pianist Chico Scimone, 
who often played for Costello and Moret- 
ti, recalled that— as best he could date it— 
as the time frame in which Costello hired 
him for a somewhat unusual assignment. 
"The amici from New Jersey had contact- 
ed him about a young fellow. They said 
he had a good voice and they wanted to 
test him— a sort of audition— and asked 
me to play the piano." The young fellow, 
Scimone said in 2002, turned out to be 
Frank. "The Mafia," he explained, "could 
make somebody or they could destroy 

"The Boys got on to Frank in part be- 
cause he was a saloon singer, and they loved 
saloon songs, and they liked his cockiness," 
said the entertainer Sonny King, a Sinatra in- 
timate. "He was a young punk kid when he 
met them. They liked to think of him as their 
kid, or son. He was respectful, which was the 
right thing to do." 

Frank maintained in testimony to the 
Nevada State Gaming Control Board in the 
1980s that Willie Mcretti "had absolutely 
nothing to do with my career at any time." 
The transcript of a much earlier closed ses- 
sion with U.S. Senate investigators, however, 
shows that on that occasion he made a cru- 
cial admission: 

Attorney "I will ask you specifically. 
Have you eve at any time, been associated 
in business with Moretti?" 

Sinatra: "Well, Moretti made some band 
dates for me when I first got started." 

In 1940, when Frank was 24, he joi 
band of the hugely popular Tommy 
who after two years allowed him to 
a soloist. "It was a real nervous mom 
called Dorsey arranger Axel Stordahl. 
didn't know what would happen— 1 

he would sell alone on a label I' 

forget when we got the dubs [early e 
We sat there in Frank's room in the 
wood Plaza Hotel listening to the 

and over This was a turning 

his career." 

The four songs Frank had recorde 
first session— "Night and Day," "Tb 
We Called It a Day," "The Song I 
and "The Lamplighter's Serenade' 
well received. He topped popularity 
and crowds at concerts insisted on 
after encore. His salary, which had sta 
S100 a week, was increased to S400 
(54,500 today). 

Yet Frank was miserable, a bun 
nerves. He picked at his food, flitte< 
doctor to doctor. "He started talkinj 
about death and dying," Nick Seva 
called. "He'd tell me that he didn't th 
would live very long." Frank was i 
state, he told Sevano, because he f 
had to leave Dorsey or be overtaken by 

When Frank told Dorsey he planr 
quit, the bandleader reacted first wii 
belief, then with a plea to stay, ther 
anger. He insisted that Frank had t. 
until the end of his contract— two years 
Frank began showing up late for broa 
and walking out of recording sessions 
hope Dorsey would give up on him. 
not work. 

Ever more desperate, Frank work 
through the summer of 1942 on a 1 
neck schedule that took the band to 
York, Montreal. Detroit, Philadelphia 
timore, and Washington. In Washing* 
told Dorsey once and for all that ht 
leaving. The bandleader had him sign 
erance agreement, then reportedly shn 
and said, "Let him go. Might be the 
thing for me." 

Frank sang with the band for the 
time on September 10, 1942, in Minn< 
lis. As the drinks flowed after the 
Frank "was literally crying on my shou 
said Dorsey. "Depressed about what v 
happen to his career." Three months 
of his 27th birthday, after nearly three 
with the country's top band, he was o 
own— but with horrendous strings attai 

"You're not gonna leave this band 
as easy as you think you are," Dorsey 
said. Frank had ignored the stern claus 
the document that set him free. Unde 
terms of the release, Frank agreed to i 
third of all future earnings over SH 
week to Dorsey for the next 10 years 
other 10 percent "off the top" was to { 


VANITY FAIR www.vanilyloir cor 


t-y's manager. (Frank also had to pay 
lircent of all his earnings to the agent 
Id taken on to represent him.) 

je following year, when the dollars were 

)lling in, Frank told the press it was 

ig for anybody to own a piece of him." 

buld dismiss the Dorsey severance deal 

ving been just a "'ratty piece of paper." 

ey and his manager filed a lawsuit. 

I suddenly, two days after the suit had 

filed, it was settled out of court. 

hired a couple of lawyers to get me 

: it." Frank said a decade later. "They 

' to Dorsey, but he refused to budge. 

ly I was referred to a noted theatrical 

ley, Henry Jaffe, and he took me to 

Stein, head of the biggest theatrical 

:y, Music Corporation of America 

\]. Mr. Stein was anxious to represent 

•nd secured my release for S60,000 

1.000 today], he contributing S 35,000 

1 paying $25,000." 

ink offered more detail years later. 
;y initially refused to give ground, he 
(insisting: "No! No! No! No! I want one 
of his salary for the rest of his life— 
ig as he lives." Using his clout as coun- 
r the American Federation of Radio 
.s, according to Sinatra, Jaffe respond- 
ith a direct threat. The conversation 
as follows: 

Te: "You enjoy playing music in hotel 
s and having the nation hear you on the 
? . . . You like broadcasting on NBC?" 
orsey: "Sure I do." 

fe: "Not anymore you wont Well, 

about we talk about Frank Sinatra and 
see what kind of deal we can make— if 
vant to continue on radio." 
| Sinatra told it, it was that exchange 
proke Dorsey 's resolve and persuaded 
io cut a deal. 

prsey's version of the episode began to 
!ge only a decade later, in a 1951 maga- 
iarticle. He had surrendered, the band- 
■ was quoted as saying, only after he 
visited by three businesslike men, who 
him out of the sides of their mouths 
ign or else." Former Las Vegas casino- 
rtainment director Ed Becker said 
ey had told him privately about the epi- 
. "Tommy told me it was true," Becker 
lied. "He said, 'Three guys from New 
City by way of Boston and New Jersey 
oached me and said they would like 
jy Frank's contract. I said "Like hell 
will." . . . And they pulled out a gun 
said, "You wanna sign the contract?" 
I did.'" 

sfore his death, in 1956, Dorsey told 
Lloyd Shearer, then West Coast conf- 
ident for Parade magazine, "I was visit- 
iy Willie Moretti and a couple of his 
. Willie fingered a gun and told me he 

was glad to hear that I was letting Frank 
out of our deal. I took the hint." 

The mobster Joseph "Doc" Stacher, who 
worked with Luciano's people, said, "The 
Italians among us were very proud of Frank. 
They always told me they had spent a lot 
of money helping him in his career, ever 
since he was with Tommy Dorsey 's band." 

Luciano himself spoke before his death 
of the time "when some dough was needed 

to put Frank across with the public I 

think it was about fifty or sixty grand. I 
okayed the money and it come out of the 
fund, even though some guys put up a little 
extra on a personal basis. It all helped him 
become a big star." 

From the time the Mob forced Dorsey to 
back down, a federal Bureau of Narcotics 
document stated in the 1950s, Sinatra be- 
came "one of many in the entertainment 
world who knowingly collaborates with the 
Big Mob." According to his friend Sonny 
King, Luciano and Frank Costello "assigned" 
two specific mafiosi to handle Sinatra. Joe 
Fischetti, King said, was to "be around him 
all the time." Sam Giancana, the future 
Chicago Mafia boss, was there to step in 
"if major things came up." In the words of 
Giancana's mistress Phyllis McGuire, Frank 
remained "friends with the Boys for years, 
ever since he needed to get out of his con- 
tract with Tommy Dorsey." 

"You don't know Italians the way Ital- 
ians know Italians," said Gene DiNovi, an 
Italian-American pianist who worked with 
Sinatra. "Italians tend to break down into two 
kinds of people: Lucky Luciano or Michel- 
angelo. Frank's an exception. He's both." 

On January 30, 1947, Frank went to a 
sheriff's office in California and took 
out a license to carry a German Walther pis- 
tol. Someone had tipped the press that he 
was there and the Los Angeles Times reported 
that he "refused to admit the purpose" of the 
visit and quoted him as protesting that it was 
"a personal matter." Carrying a handgun 
was to become routine for him. He "never 
left home without it," his valet George Jacobs 
said of the .38 Smith & Wesson his boss fa- 
vored in the 1960s. 

In one account Frank claimed the pistol 
was a souvenir brought home from his post- 
war U.S.O. tour of Italy. He told another re- 
porter that he had "wanted Nancy [his wife, 
the mother of his three children, Nancy, 
Frank junior, and Tina] to have some pro- 
tection in case of an emergency. So I bought 
a little gun for the house." Later still, he 
would say he had needed the weapon "to 
protect personal funds." 

After obtaining the permit, Frank flew 
to New York to fulfill a radio commitment, 
then on to Miami. Before he went south, 
though, the columnist Earl Wilson got 
word of his journey, learned who Frank's 

host in Florida was to be, and was appalled. 
The host was the mobster Joe Fischetti, and 
the Miami Beach mansion at which Frank 
stayed belonged to Joe's older brothers, 
Charles and Rocco. The brothers were just 
back from attending Al Capone's funeral, 
in Chicago. 

Charles, then 46, liked to use the name 
Dr. Fisher and pose as a wealthy art collec- 
tor. Friends dubbed him Prince Charlie. In 
reality he was a feared extortionist and polit- 
ical fixer. Rocco, three years younger, called 
himself an antiques dealer and was— as 
Frank later was— a model-train enthusiast. 

Joe, 37. is described in his F.B.I, file as 
"the least intelligent and the least aggres- 
sive" of the brothers. "I'm the only one in 
the family who hasn't killed anybody," he 
once told a visitor, while brandishing the 
gun he always carried. Joe, too, was linked 
to extortion. He was an errand boy for his 
brothers and a front man for an empire 
based on gambling and show business. The 
roots of that empire were intertwined with 
those of gangsters on the East Coast. Roc- 
co had once been arrested while leaving a 
Mafia gathering with Lucky Luciano. Char- 
lie, for his part, was in regular touch with 
Willie Moretti. 

Frank joined the brothers in Miami at a 
pivotal moment for organized crime. Lu- 
ciano was back in circulation. He had been 
released from prison in New York in early 
1946, on the condition that he go into exile 
in Italy. Italian police who met his ship es- 
corted him to Sicily and back to Lercara 
Friddi. From there Luciano rapidly made 
his way to Rome, where he was soon en- 
sconced in a fine hotel suite, in contact 
with American associates and plotting his 
return to real power. Before leaving the 
United States, Luciano had agreed with 
one of the most powerful of those associ- 
ates, Meyer Lansky, as to how to go about 
it. He would resume control of the empire 
of crime from Cuba, just 90 miles from the 
United States mainland. 

Luciano arrived in Havana in the fall of 

1946, set up his base of operations with the 
connivance of Cuban politicians, and be- 
gan receiving a steady stream of senior 
American mafiosi. "The guys was coming," 
he recalled, "not because I asked them to. 
I ordered it." Rocco and Joe Fischetti flew 
in on Pan Am from Miami on February 11, 

1947. A still frame from newsreel footage 
shows them walking from the plane, Rocco 
to the rear, Joe in front with a hand up to his 
face. Between them, toting a sizable piece 
of hand baggage, is Frank Sinatra. 

Nine days later, American newspapers car- 
ried an article with a Havana dateline. 
"I am frankly puzzled." wrote the colum- 
nist Robert Ruark, "as to why Frank Sina- 
tra, the fetish of millions, chooses to spend 

c 2 5 ] V A N I T Y FAIR 197 


hii. vacation in the company of convicted 

operators and assorted hoodlums — 
There considerable speculations of 

a disgusted nature by observers who saw 
Frankie. night after night, with Mr 
ciano at the Gran Casino Nacional. the 
dice emporium and the horse park — Mr. 
Sinatra, the self-confessed savior of the 
country's small fry, by virtue of his lectures 
on clean living and love-thy-neighbor. his 
movie shorts on tolerance, and his frequent 
dabblings into the do-good department of 
politics, seems to be setting a most peculiar 

Frank at once denied everything. "Any 
report that I fraternize with goons and 
racketeers is a vicious lie." he said, "I go to 
many places and meet a great many people 
from all walks of life— editors, scientists, 
businessmen and. perhaps, unsavory char- 

Frank's accounts of the episode did not 
remain consistent. He said he had met Joe 
Fischetti fleetingly while performing in Chi- 
cago, but saw little of him. He had just hap- 
pened to "run into" Fischetti in Miami be- 
fore the Cuba trip. Questioned later by at- 
torneys for Senator Estes Kefauver's Special 
Committee to Investigate Organized Crime 
in Interstate Commerce— the Kefauver Com- 
mittee—he claimed he had met Charlie and 
Rocco Fischetti "just to say "Hello, how are 
you?' . . . three times at most." He had "not 
an ounce" of business with any of them. 
Later still, testifying to the Nevada State 
Gaming Control Board, he said it was pure 
coincidence that he and the Fischettis had 
flown to Havana on the same plane. 

Of the news story reporting his encounter 
with Luciano, Frank said. "I was brought 
up to shake a man's hand when I am intro- 
duced to him. without first investigating his 
past" Then, telling what he said was "the 
true story" in an interview with Hedda Hop- 
per, he said. T dropped by a casino one 
night. One of the captains— a sort of host- 
recognized me and asked if I'd mind meet- 
ing a few people — I couldn't refuse So 

I went through some routine introductions, 
scarcely paying attention to the names of 
the people I was meeting. One happened 
to be Lucky Luciano. Even if I'd caught his 
name, I probably wouldn't have associated it 

with the notorious underworld character 

I sat down at a table for about fifteen min- 
utes. Then I got up and went back to the 
hotel. . . . When such innocent acts are so 
distorted, you can win." 

Frank told the Kefauver Com;, ttec t- 
torneys he had been introduced to Lu- 
ciano in Havana by Connie lmmerman. 
whom he was to describe as "a New York 

In other statements, he said 

the loduction had been made by Nate 

a Chicago journalist. The name of 

\ erica's most notorious mobster, he 

ed. had seemed merely "familiar." 

when a dinner companion explained. 

he said, did be realize who it was he had 

met. Luciano and the Fischettis were again 

present, he told Kefauver's staff, when he sat 

through a show at Sloppy Joe's, a famous 

nightspot in the Cuban capital. 

Finally, questioned as late as 1970 by a 
New Jersey state body probing organized 
crime. Frank claimed that he knew no. mob- 
sters and— even then!— denied knowing that 
Luciano was a mafioso. 

In fact. F.B.I, records show, he and the 
Fischettis had spent a good deal of time to- 
gether during the months before the Cuba 
trip. He and Charles Fischetti had spent 
three hours visiting with the Fischettis' 
mother at her home in Brooklyn. Frank had 
been Rocco's guest at the Vernon Country 
Club, outside Chicago, and in touch with 
Joe about a meeting in New York. Con- 
trary to Frank's denial of any business rela- 
tionship with the Fischettis. the brothers 
told Kefauver Committee attorneys that he 
was their partner in a car-dealership opera- 
tion. According to an F.B.I, informant. Joe 
Fischetti had stated on the very eve of the 
Havana trip that he "had a financial inter- 
est in Sinatra." 

Both the F.B.I, and the Bureau of Nar- 
cotics, which had agents in Havana in 1947. 
had known Luciano was in town before 
Frank arrived. Two sources on the Narcotics 
Bureau payroll, an elevator man and a tele- 
phone operator at the Hotel Nacional, had 
reported on comings and goings at his 
suite, on the eighth floor, and at Frank's, on 
the floor below. "While in Havana." bureau 
supervisor George White reported to Com- 
missioner Harry Anslinger, "Luciano lav- 
ishly entertained Frank Costello, Meyer 
Lansky. Ralph Capone. Rocco and Charlie 
Fischetti. as well as Frank Sinatra and 
Bruce Cabot, actors." Willie Moretti was 
also in Cuba. 

Wary of Sinatra's lawyers— Frank would 
in fact sue over the Havana stories— 
the executive editor of the New York World- 
Telegram asked Ruark to submit a detailed 
in-house memorandum on how he had 
developed his information. "I was told by- 
Mr. Larry Larrea. [Hotel Nacional] General 
ger." Ruark responded, "that Frank 
i was vacationing in Havana, and to 
Mr. rrea's evident horror, was spending 
most ' his waking hours with Lucky Lu- 
ciano. Mr. Luciano's bodyguard, and an 
issorted group of gamblers and hood- 
lums The caliber of Mr. Sinatra's inti- 
mates was so low that he, (Mr. Larrea), 
preferred to stay in his suite rather than run 

the risk of bumping into Sinatra a 
friends in the lobby." 

World-Telegram society writer 
Ventura told Ruark that he had seen 
at the casino with Luciano on two 
tive nights, and that they had also be 
together at the racetrack. Other co 
rating witnesses included Connie Ii 
man. the man Frank said had intro 
him to Luciano. lmmerman. a formei 
ager of the Cotton Club, is referrec 
Narcotics Bureau reports as a "henc 
of Luciano . . . notorious gambler." I 
man insisted that Luciano was just " 
kid . . . just taking it easy and trying 
down his past.'' 

At a second meeting with Larrea, 
learned Sinatra was at that very mi 
upstairs with Luciano. "I wouldn't 
your going up there." the manager wj 
"The best that you can expect is 
thrown out. They are pretty tough fe 
They've got a lot of women with then 
I don't know how much they've been 
ing." Ruark also remembered being w 
by Ventura "not to file my stories cor 
ing Sinatra and Luciano by Western I 
... it was a practice of the Cuban wi 
office to immediately call subject peo 
stories of the type I intended to write 
that there would be a good chance 
story being lost, badly garbled or di 
ed. He also said the writer of such a 
might be likely to wind up with a "kn< 
his head." 

A month after Ruark's scoop, hi 
league Ventura told him in a lette | 
Frank had been involved in an orgy 
in Havana. "Emilio Sanchez threw a 
at Sinatra's suite when he was here, ah 
tended by R. Capone [Ralph, broth 
Al]. Gist of the party was to have n 
booze and 12 naked women. Midst o 
party a delegation of Cuban girl scou 
rived with a mentor to offer some toki 
other to the Voice. All babes were sh 
into the two bedrooms, whilst the "S 
came out impeccably garbed in lounge 
and silk scarf. During the ceremony 
naked bodies suddenly catapulted intd 
living room. The girl scouts retreated in • 
plete rout." 

Four years later, in 1951, Kefauver C 
mittee staff confronted Frank with t 
photographs taken in Havana. One. ace 
ing to committee attorney Joseph Nt 
showed him "with his arm around L> 
Luciano on the balcony of the Hotel 
cional . . . another showed Sinatra and 
ciano sitting at a nightclub in the Naci 
with lots of bottles having a hell of a | 
with some good-looking girls . . . and 
there were a couple pictures of him 
the Fischetti brothers [and] Luciano." 
shots showed Frank with Santo Train 

1 V8 



iy Rosselli, and Carlo Gambino, all 
ising mafiosi. 

JDrmer member of the Hotel Nacional 
Jorge Jorge, recently provided infor- 
n suggesting that Frank's involvement 
way beyond the supposedly chance 
hake with Luciano. Jorge said that 

1 rarity reasons Luciano spent most of 
ne in a set of communicating rooms 
om the suite in which he was regis- 
i Luciano and Lansky used two of 
Frank the third. 

it, who said he was assigned to serve 
no because he spoke English, de- 
d taking breakfast to the suite. "We 
come with two tables with those lit- 

jeels and Thermos flasks And there 

vere in the mornings, Sinatra, Meyer 

cy, and Luciano. . . . They thought I 

good English and that I was going 

n to what they were talking about, so 

/ould change the subject They wait- 

me to serve breakfast Once I had 

d, they would look at me as if to say 
j-bye' and I would leave." 

rcotics Bureau agents learned Luciano 
/as at the time involved in casino and 
developments— and, they thought, in 
tics— in Cuba, and for that he needed 
Is to vast sums of money. The bureau's 
lation, later corroborated by the Mafia 
limself, Rocco and Joe Fischetti, and 
associate of Meyer Lansky 's, was that 
lg associates carried huge cash sums 
1 in Havana. 

ere were suspicions, meanwhile, that 
c and former heavyweight champion 
Dempsey acted as cash couriers dur- 
.e Cuba episode. Official records sug- 
riat the Fischettis contributed as much 
million (S16 million today), and that 
: may have carried the cash into Ha- 
!in his hand luggage. After that allega- 
ippeared in the press, Luciano denied 
link responded with derision, 
icture me, skinny Frankie," he asked 
le to imagine, "lifting $2,000,000 in 
j bills. For the record, $1,000 in dollar 
weighs three pounds, which makes the 
I am supposed to have carried 6,000 
|ds. Even assuming that the bills were 
: the bag would still have required a 
lie of stevedores to carry it." The bag- 
seen in the film of his airport ar- 
Frank said, contained only "my oils, 
hing materials and personal jewelry." 
k did take up painting and buy art 
lies in 1947, but, according to his wife, 
:y, he did so only months after the Ha- 

rry Lewis said that Frank carried mon- 

■ the Mafia on more than one occa- 

Lewis was born in New Jersey, had 

befriended by Dolly Sinatra when he 

starting out, met Frank early on, and 

knew some of the same mobsters. In the 
year of the Cuba episode, he performed at 
the wedding reception for one of Willie 
Moretti's daughters. He was on intimate 
terms with the Fischetti brothers. In Frank's 
case, Lewis said, the relationship with the 
Mob "had to do with the morality that a 
handshake goes before God. Frank, at a 
cocktail party, told Meyer [Lansky] in no 
uncertain terms. Tf there is going to be 
East Coast, West Coast, intercontinental, 
and foreign— if all that's going to happen, I 
go all the time, Meyer.' He volunteered to 
be a messenger for them. And he almost 
got caught once ... in New York."